On Sunday morning I received a phone call from my father informing me that my grandmother had died. By Monday morning, the funeral arrangements had been made, and my sisters and I booked our flights to Indianapolis.
My grandmother's obituary in the Indianapolis Star reported some facts and statistics of her life--born April 19, 1919 in Indianapolis (not, as I had always thought, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where her older sister had been born), died April 1, 2007. She had worked in the Neurology Department at Indiana University Medical Center. She had been an active member of Clermont Christian Church since the mid-1940s, and married to my grandfather, who survives her, for nearly 69 years. Her brother Ernie, a Pearl Harbor survivor, also survives her.
What the obituary didn't express was the love that she had for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and how, as my cousin Aaron said at the funeral service, she always focused her attention on others and made us feel special.
The visitation at the funeral home and the funeral service was attended by hundreds of people, including many relatives I didn't even know I had. What was a time of loss also became a reunion of family members from across the country, that I'm sure my grandmother would have been overjoyed to see.
We'll all miss her.