well this may be one of the harder posts i have written. for those who may not know, Rita Lloyd, my grandma passed away on 8/29/11.
my grandma was one of a kind- i am sure everyone says that- but she was truly one of the strongest people i have ever met in my entire life. she faced adversity practically everyday- yet loved life. she raised 3 beautiful children- mostly by herself because my grandpa died when my dad was pretty young. then also raised my cousin Caity as well. They all have grown into genuinely wonderful people who i love and adore.
My grandma had a love for animals- although, her animals didn’t always love me. chi-chi was the first pet of my grandma’s that i remember. chi-chi was a white long haired cat who lived to be like 22…boy was that cat a real treat. let me start off by saying that grandma adored chi-chi and i think the cat only ate tuna out of the can- no cat food for chi-chi. the cat also loved to sit on the back of the couch- grandma always told me not to touch chi-chi when she was sitting on the back of the couch- but as a small child my face was about even with the back of the couch- so one day as i was walking past the couch to get outside chi-chi took one big swoop and scratched me from the bottom of my eye down to my chin. what did grandma say? “i told you not to touch the cat”
tough love could have been my grandma’s middle name.
when my grandma lived in california for the first 10 or so years of my life she lived in a mobile home on a golf course in palm desert. thinking back now her house was exactly that- a mobile home, very simple, small and nothing fancy. but as a child- i thought my grandma’s house was the coolest place ever. my cousin Caity and i could spend hours creating adventures around her house. climbing and picking oranges and grapefruits from the trees she grew. smelling her rose bushes, playing in the kiddie pool on her back deck- which was covered in green artificial turf by the way- so cool. her house although so small seemed like a wonderland to two little girls.
my grandma never needed fancy, she just needed family.
i can proudly say that out of anyone i know, my grandma truly valued family more than anything. she would do anything and everything for her family. although, she might have always made you learn it the hard way- she had a method to her madness. whether it was me, my brother, my dad, my mom, my cousins, my aunts- grandma was always willing to give you whatever she had at any cost.
At times she may have been unconventional compared to your stereotypical “grandma.” She wasn’t always baking cookies or telling you how cute you looked. She was teaching us life’s most important lessons- i see it now as an adult that she was full of compassion, she was loyal, and she was so tough. through her and my dad I can say that those are some of the qualities i value the most in others as well as myself.
i can also remember the last time i talked to her- when i came back from europe in 2009 i had brought her back a rosary from the vatican. i sent it to her in the mail, and called to make sure she got it. our conversation was short- but i will always remember it as the last time we spoke.
the hardest part about this post is ending it- because i could talk about my grandma forever- and i never want it to end- but that’s what this has come to- an end. she will be missed by so many and touched so many people in such a profound way. if i grow up to be half the women she was i will have succeeded in this life.
love, your granddaughter