February dissolved into March, with all the restaurants in Paris firmly shut due to Covid restrictions. I had just started on my International Women’s Month series featuring four French women and their stories.
Just a week prior, my grandmother, Rose, fell in the shower. She was released from the hospital, and I remained hopeful that she would recover quickly.
My grandparents helped raise me. Their home was my first, and throughout my childhood, they were by my side 💯 of the time. As an adult, no matter where I was in the world, I called them every Sunday at 10 am PST.
Stepping out into the cold but bright day, I was headed out to take Pearl and Rose (yes, the same name 🥰) out for a walk. I received a text from my mother: Can you talk? So, I phoned her thinking I was going to receive my daily update about Rose’s progress.
She answered the phone and said, “This is the last time you’ll speak to your Grandmother,” and promptly holds the phone up to my dear Rose’s ear. Dumbfounded, I stood riveted in place, the breath knocked out of my chest, frozen in the middle of the streets of Paris. People streamed by, eyeing me, as I struggled to hold back tears and attempted to find the final words, ANY words, to say to her.
I bumbled out, “I’ve been thinking about you constantly, all day long, Grandmother.” And the last thing she said to me, perfectly her style and in a teasing manner, “Well, that’s not a very interesting way to spend your day, dear.”
She passed two days later with my grandfather, Marv, by her side, holding her hand. They had been married for over seventy years.
I continued to call my grandfather every Sunday, of course. His heart broken, he tried gallantly, but he seemed to be wilting a bit more every day.
I continue this story in the comments below. Thank you for reading.