A Tribute

I had all of these amazing things I wanted to write about. I have running goals, and I was prepared to talk about the amazing experience I had mentoring my fantastic 10k group. I was ready to run a PR for my last race of the season. I was co-hosting a sprinkle for one of my dearest friends in DC this weekend and was ready to spend Thanksgiving with the same close friends at their new, beautiful home.

But life has a funny way of throwing a wrench into even the best of plans.

My grandmother had been suffering Alzheimers for the better part of the past four – five years. Among many other things. Late last week, she took a serious turn for the worse.

I was unable to make it to Vermont this past weekend (life, two year old, money…you name it), and Tuesday over lunch, as I was about to get out of my car to run in to grab food, my cousin called and told me simply, choking out tears, “she’s gone.”

My heart shattered. I felt crushed. I knew this was coming but nothing prepared me for the realization that I would never give her a big hug, or hear her laugh or see her smile. I don’t think anything can prepare you for losing a loved one – no matter how long they’ve been sick.

Nana, you are forever loved. You will be forever missed. All of the lessons I learned from you from cooking, cleaning, canning and dancing..etc… etc…I will hold dearly and pass on to my own children. I am blessed to have known you and for having had the best Nana I could have asked for for 32 years of my life. You were aย cheerleader – standing out in inclement weather to cheer all of your grandchildren on through sports – hockey, football, track and field and sitting through hours of concerts, recitals and plays. You nursed us to healthย – sitting with us on our sick beds in hospitals, while we were laid up on your sofa, and you let us take over your bed when we were ill. You stood up for us – even to strangers. You were proud, you never held grudges (even when you could have), you loved all of us – your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren – unconditionally – even when we didn’t always deserve it.

And we did that for you. Above all other lessons, you taught us the meaning of love and family.

I couldn’t be with you in your final weeks/days, but I prayed for you. Hearing one of your favorite communion songs, one that you once told me reminded you of Great Grandma (your mother) broke me down in church just this past Sunday. As if we all knew, that any day you would leave us behind.

I know you’re looking over me Nana. Give me strength; give all of us strength because our lives will never be the same without you in it. I love you and I will always love you.

Rest peacefully Nana.


(image source)

My pseudo-regular blogging will return from somewhere up north next week. To those of you stopping in from the Blog-Hop – thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I promise to return all comments in the coming days and I have loved swinging by ALL of your blogs – even if I didn’t comment (most I did!).ย 

  • Heidi, I am so sorry for the loss of your Nana. We just lost our grandmother from Alzheimer’s about two months ago, so I feel your sadness. What a nice tribute to her. I wish you a happy Thanksgiving with fond memories and family time. I am here from the blog hop.

  • Heidi, I am stopping in from the Blog Hop. I am sorry to hear about your grandmother and I am praying for your family as you mourn her loss. She sounds like she was a wonderful and loving lady and in the coming weeks, you can be comforted by your wonderful memories of her.
    God bless you.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandmother. You are right, it’s very difficult to lose someone even if they have been ill for a long time. You will have many memories to cherish. It’s wonderful you can pass along some of her spirit and all the great things she taught you to your own children. It was nice to meet you through the hop.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your Nana. You’re absolutely right, nothing can prepare you for losing a loved one no matter how long they’ve suffered. I’ve lost both of my grandmothers and my brother to cancer. There’s peace in knowing they’re no longer suffering, but it still hurts losing someone you love so much. Prayers for your family!

  • I’m so very sorry Heidi! Your grandma sounds like a wonderful woman. Let all those good memories and her spirit live in your heart. Hugs.

  • Heidi, I am so sorry for your loss. You are right, your memories of your Nana will remain and live on–cling to those.

  • Heidi what a beautiful tribute to your grandma. My own grandma recently passed from the same awful disease. I know we are all blessed that she got to spend so much time with her children, grandchildren and great children as well. I ran an Alz Awareness 5k this summer and ended up crying for most of it. hugs xoxo

  • oh Heidi, I am so sorry my friend. Sending you so many hugs, and prayers. She sounds like a marvelous mother, grand mother and just all around good person. Blessings Nana!!

  • Heidi, I don’t know you, but my heart just broke reading your words.
    I 100% understand the pain you are feeling with having a loved one pass away while you are not by their side. My sweet grandfather passed away after I had just moved to Canada from Australia. Before I moved, I always told myself I could easily just fly home if ever anything like that happened. But then it did happen, and I simply couldn’t make the flight home, and I still think about the hug I gave him when I left the country, and the fact that neither us knew then that that would be our last hug.
    Stay strong lovely,
    Meg x

  • So sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like you have many great memories of her and that you’ll be able to honor her through your own parenting.

  • I am SO sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you are going through and please don’t worry about commenting. I am happy to meet you and hopefully we can reconnect when life settles down.

  • Very sorry for your loss and this was a very nice tribute to your grandmother.

  • What a wonderful person your Nana was and this is such a tribute to her! I’m sorry for your loss and hope you find comfort during this time. Remember the good times with her and also remember when your struggling in the future, your Nana will be right there with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi from the blog hop!!

    I am so sorry for your loss!! you and your family are in my prayers.

    It is evident that she brought so many happy moments into your lives and leaves you all with a treasure trove of memories. May her soul rest in peace.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Even when you know it is coming, it still hurts. Peace to you and your family this week. Prayers your way. Grandma’s leave the biggest holes ๐Ÿ™

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. My grandfather passed away a few years ago after dealing with dementia for the better part of a decade – you have my full empathy!

  • I am so deeply sorry to hear about your loss! Sending my love, xo!

  • Oh, my sincerest sympathies to you and your family. Our grandparents are SO special to us, even when the “leave”us, they never truly “leave” us. I lost my last living grandparent (my Gramma Grayce) 14 years ago…and I still have a hard time believing she’s gone. I used to buy her books of stamps every year for Christmas, and every year I momentarily forget that she doesn’t need stamps anymore. What a beautiful tribute to your special lady. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Heidi – I am so truly sorry for your loss. My grandfather also succumbed to Alzheimer’s after battling it for 7 years. And while yes, we know it the loss is imminent and that ultimately it means they aren’t in anymore physical or emotional turmoil nothing can prepare you for that call. My heart is with you during this incredibly difficult time. Please remember always that she loved you and she is watching over you now!

  • Im so sorry for the Lรถss.
    Its a hard time to say goodbye after a long time.
    It remembers me on the cancer of my wifes grandma ,after chemopills she passed away .
    I will never that.

    Wish you and your family all the power for the next period.
    I will burn a candle here

  • Heidi, I’m so sorry for your loss. I remember when my grandma died and it really broke my heart. The pictures you have are so precious! They will always remind you of the good times you shared. Praying for you and wishing you peace during this difficult time.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss! Losing a loved one, especially one so special isn’t easy.
    So glad you have so many great memories with her that you can forever cherish. *hugs*

  • Very sorry to hear about your loss. She sounds like she was an incredible woman, and in that picture you can tell she lived a very happy life, some people just wear happiness well!
    Thoughts are with you at this time!!!

  • I am so sorry ๐Ÿ™ Losing someone is always so tough. After my grandfather died last spring, the only thing that got me feeling back to normal was running. I ran a half marathon a few weeks after he passed and dedicated the race to his memory. I swear he helped me through that race!

    • Heidi

      Awwww thats wonderful re: dedicating your race to your grandfather. I definitely plan on channeling my pain into my running – she was so proud of my running so i know she would want me to keep running ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oh I am so sorry. ๐Ÿ™ My Mema has been slipping into dementia as well, and it is so difficult to watch. I hope you and your family are able to find peace in this difficult time.

    • Heidi

      Thanks for the kind words <3

      Dementia/Alzheimers are such awful conditions/diseases to witness ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ Sorry you're going through that now ๐Ÿ™

  • So, so sorry for your loss. I went through similar feelings when I lost my sister four years ago. She was by far one of the best people in my life and it was really hard. Now when I think of her I always try to think of something that will make me smile. Prayers and good thoughts to you and your family.

    • Heidi

      thanks so much for the kind words <3

      There are plenty of amazing Nana stories that my family and I have spent hours re-sharing with one another - that definitely helps it hurt less, I think thats all we can do in times of loss - remember the good things. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am so sorry. We lost my mom to Alzheimer’s in June; it is a terrible thing to have to watch anyone go through. You have the comfort of knowing that she is now at peace; the suffering is over.
    I am here from the Blog Hop. There is no need to rush over to mine. Take time to be with your family and celebrate your grandmother’s life.

    • Heidi

      Oh I’m so sorry to hear about your mom – Alzheimer’s is the ugliest ๐Ÿ™ I know it’s better now but man do I miss her :/ Thanks so much for the kind words <3

  • Oh Heidi, I’m so sorry for your loss. Nana sounds like an amazing, dedicated woman and she will certainly leave a hole in your life…but has also left a legacy that you can share with your family. I lost my mom in 2013 and have dedicated runs to her memory, fundraising for cancer research. My heart goes out to you. Wishing you peace and comfort.

    • Heidi

      thank you so much!

      There will be much fundraising in 2016 – Alzheimers is such an ugly, ugly disease and she always loved bragging about my cousins’ and I’s activities – i know she would proud of putting my passion for running to good ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Heidi, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to your Nana.

    • Heidi

      Thanks so much for the kind thoughts <3

  • Harriet Pepper

    Oh honey, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Hugs and prayers for you and yours.