I'm sort of floating in a surreal fog right now. I got a call from my mother Sunday night telling me that my grandmother was dying. Yesterday, at work, she called to let me know that she had died earlier in the day.
So, tomorrow, I get on a plane to go to Omaha where my parents will pick me up and we will go to Harlan. The funeral is on Friday (they move pretty quickly on these things!).
I don't know that I shared much about this grandmother during my family history recitation. She and my grandfather met when they were teens. They liked each other, but she was pretty young. When my grandfather asked permission to court her, her father said she was too young.
They both eventually met and married other people, and although I don't regret that because, ultimately, it resulted in me being alive, the people that they married were not well suited to them. My maternal grandmother is the one who was abusive and ended up committing suicide. Leona (technically my step-grandmother) married a man who was an alcoholic, verbally abusive, and ended up leaving her with 3 sons to raise on her own.
After my grandmother died, my grandfather moved back to Iowa where he met Leona again. They found that they still enjoyed each other's company, and now that they were unmarried, were free to be together. They married less than a year after meeting again. I was about 5 years old when they married, and my grandfather died in 2000, which means they were together, happily, for 25 years.
I'm a bit conflicted about my relationship with this grandmother. There are many ways in which I grew up knowing that she wasn't my "real" grandmother. I called her Leona. She did not have the same close relationship with me as she did with her other granddaughters. But I find that she is still, in my heart, my grandmother.
I find that I am sad about this in a melancholy way. It does feel like a fog has descended over me. But this is still grief with it's attendant feeling of distraction and lethargy...there are even fleeting feelings of anger - although, it's a blessing that she has passed, in some ways, as she has had Alzheimer's for the past 5 years.
I spent yesterday cancelling appointments and scheduling travel. SlowTalker came over and held me. And now I will slog through the day, looking forward to the heat and humidity of an Iowa summer day to grieve in properly.
P.S. I won't be able to post again until Sunday or later.