Here are some thoughts about my Grandma.
On August 12, My paternal grandmother, Joy Bateman Wixom Samson, died. She was 95 and had lived a full life of family, work, travel and love. She was an important and positive influence in my life, and while I am sad I won't see her again in this life, it's hard to be TOO sad when a tired 95-year old woman who has done all the things and is suffering from pain and sickness dies. I am honestly more happy for her than I am sad for myself. Truly. Her life is a great example of what I believe life is all about--learning, experiencing, helping others, trying, making mistakes, having messy problems, doing fun things, loving people, never giving up, etc. I don't romanticize her as a perfect person, but instead I love her for her example of a real woman in action. She showed me that it's possible to keep on going in the face of hard things, and to laugh and sing along the way. That is invaluable to me. I am grateful you are my Grandma.
So, I went out to Arizona and Utah and gathered with my family to honor her. It was an intense trip, both sad and joyful at the exact same time. I am really grateful I could go.
We rented a perfect house in Flagstaff to shelter some of the people who came to honor Grandma. Watching this delightful gathering my siblings and children and of my much-adored nieces and nephews with my granddaughters brought this sweet joy that is hard to put into words. I love my family so much.
We found the cheapest tickets home out of Las Vegas, so we drove down and stayed next to the airport. Our trip through the deserts of central and southern Utah was long and cathartic. I'm glad we had the time together. From Instagram:
ps. If you have skipped the Kolob Canyons exit in your rush to get to points south, you have missed out. Take the drive next time!
It was a fitting week to honor a really special woman, one who always made me feel loved, even from far away. I know that my own grandmothering will be deeply influenced by her.