By: Dana Lone Hill
It has been awhile since I lost my Grams, and I am not used to it. I have a hard time adjusting, I cry, fight these feelings and try hard to forget my pain of life without her. I even talk to people, friends, relatives and ask them “How?”
How do I get over losing my grams? She’s gone…and how do I deal with it? You know what people tell me? They say it takes time; you will be alright, ok Dana. And then they tell me how it was to lose their Grandma and how they dealt with it. Then they cry after awhile and they can’t handle the pain of losing their grams, the woman that set the path in thier lives, the woman who taught them, like my gram taught me- to be strong and not take crap from anyone. And now all of a sudden, I have to go through the rest of my life without her. How do I do that? I realized after seeing, hearing, and lending my shoulder to more than a few, that no matter what my Grams wasn’t coming back here on Earth to be here for me. I realized how selfish I was to think she would stay here on Earth for me and only me forever.
No longer could I just pick up the phone and ask about important things or talk about things that mattered to me, in life, like I tried to do so many times in the last few months.
Yes, Grams I did vote for Barack.
How do you make creamed peas?
Is there school tomorrow?
Do you know how the weather will be?
Grandma, you know the Vikings rule.
Can you please tell me the secret to your potato salad?
I know you love the Cubs, but you know the Yankees rule,
How come you never told me Elvis was so cool?
I started thinking about all the seemingly stupid questions and statements I bothered her with and started thinking about how she put up with me. I love my grandmother truly and deeply but what can I do? I can’t wave a magic wand and bring her back. Then the other day during the Superbowl, I realized she didn’t leave me.
It was in the middle of frying chicken that I thought of how I called her one other time during the Super bowl from Minnesota and pleaded for her to teach me to make fried chicken.
I must have taught you well, she said, because I am making fried chicken too. We stayed on the phone for the next two hours burning up my phone bill and she taught me to fry chicken, her way. She also taught me potato salad that day, and although it is good, it is not the secret recipe that I think she took to heaven with her. I started thinking of all the other things she taught me in life, like my deep appreciation for sports, my soft spot for cats and dogs, my awesome sense of humor and my ability to write. I didn’t know she wrote until I saw an article she wrote for The Lakota Times way back when her mother and my great grandmother passed away, in her honor.
Her honoring her mother through writing for her inner strength made me realize that those we were raised by and grew up with don’t really leave us. They stay with us by all the inner strength they passed on, skills they passed on, and things they taught us about life…like a simple bowl of potato salad.