Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All Style, All Substance: RIP my Grandma Fran

{my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Grandma}

After a fall which harmed her back and ultimately began her slow decline to the other side, my Grandma peacefully left us last Saturday. She died curled up in a cozy bed, surrounded by family and at peace with God and her faith- it's a death that we should all be so lucky to have.
{check out the pants. Love 'em}

However, it still stings to lose, oh how it stings. I never imagined a world without my Grandma in it. The following is probably largely due to her continually keeping up with her dye jobs but my Grandma had always seemed so youthful, healthy and indestructible. She poignantly observed the world around her and her astute knowledge of what's what remained with her up until the last few weeks of her life.

She was a woman grossly proud of her family and always knew the milestones that every member was involved in. I've never lived closer than 2,000 miles to my Grandma, yet she could tell her local Grocer everything about me and my life. She took great pride and unapologetic admiration in everyone close to her.

{My dad and his Mom at my Sister's wedding, April 2010}
Though she often tarried between a "tell-it-like-it-is approach" and an "everyone's fine, life is good" approach, her intent was always the same- to bring out the best, talk of the best and see the beauty in the footprint that everyone leaves on this world.
{seriously, she could not be cuter.}
My Grandma was a Lady to the very end. She always believed in the power of fashion and dressing appropriately for any event you went to. I tell you, I had one of the best dressed Grandmas but that's because (as evidenced in these images), my Grandma was long fashionable even before she had children. Fashion, put-togetherness and embracing being a woman came naturally to her - from the trendy outfits to the sophisticated hair, my Grandma always, always, always knew how to nail it.
{My Grandma (the brunette), her Mom and her siblings. Even as she aged she remained a vision.}
Despite this disposition and her great beauty, my Grandma could still be tough as nails. My late Papa who preceded her in Death in 2008, is not bound to me by blood. My biological Grandfather turned out to be not such a nice guy (see: untreated raging alcoholic) shortly after marrying my Grandma: he beat her, manipulated/controlled her and verbally accosted her regularly. Even though it was the 50s and she was a young woman with 3 young kids in tow (my Dad being one), she left him in the middle of the night and never looked back- an act almost unheard of given the context of the time.
{my Papa Bill and Grandma Fran}

She then met, fell in love and married my Papa Bill who adopted her 3 young children as his own and was the Father to my Grandma's 4th child, my wonderful Uncle Billy. Together, they created a life, a legacy, a family.

{The day Papa married my Grandma and her 3 children. How cute, I love my Dad's little face here.}

{Told you my Grandma always paid heed to appropriate fashion- seeing how this marriage to my Papa was her second wedding, there was no way she was going to wear White. She chose an interesting shade of blue and radiated in all of the images of this happy day.}

It's hard to describe what I will miss most about her as it hasn't fully digested that she's even gone yet. I will miss the cards she sends me and always hearing her greet me on the phone with a resounding "Hi Caitie!". I'll miss her laugh, her surprising knowledge of the Kardashian Sisters and her awe-inspiring, keen eye for fashion which had her looking and acting the part of a lady, at all times.
{Taken in 2007. RIP Papa Bill, 2008. RIP Grandma Fran, 2011}

Grandma, I miss you, I love you and there will always be a part of me that's right alongside you. Give Papa a huge kiss for me, pet Ruby for me (or kiss her, I miss that Dog more than words) and look after all of us down here- could definitely use your support, especially my Dad- who misses you immensely.
{My Grandma Fran and I in Sept. 2010, showing off our shoulders like Kim Kardashian. Her shoulder was much better than mine.}

Tá grá agam duit, Seanmháthair.


Anonymous said...

my goodness caitlin im so sorry to hear about your loss...no matter what someone's age is, what someone's health status is, losing someone is never made easier. im just glad she went in a peaceful manner and was surrounded by alot of love...even if it was from 2,000 miles away.

she seems like an incredibly strong lady from what you described!!!! im just you can attribute alot of your characteristics from her. and i actually think yall have the same eyes :)

anyways i hope you and your family are coping well with the loss...my heart goes out to you.

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

This is such a beautiful tribute post, Caitlin! Your grandma was an amazing woman, a role model to admire. It really is incredible what she did with leaving her first husband given the times... I can't even imagine! I also really enjoyed seeing these pictures, so thank you for sharing. She seemed to always look so lady like, so on point and so appropriate. And I just adore this picture of you too with your matching outfits, how cute is that!! R.I.P. grandma Fran. Big hugs to you, Caitlin!

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear this sad news.
Your grandmother sounds like an absolutely amazing woman. You are so lucky to have had such a faboulous infulence in your life. Thinking of you at this time.

Lindsey @ The Hill House said...

So sorry to hear of your loss, but this post is beautifully written. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. (((Hugs)))

Panty Buns said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful grandmother. Her blue wedding dress was gorgeous and I love the photo of the two of you together. You have my deepest condolences.

Anonymous said...

Oh honey! I'm so sorry. You're grandma sounds like an amazing woman. You're very lucky to have had such an amazing role model. (((Hugs))) and prayers.

mirmirzimzim said...

i knew i should be careful about checking your blog at work this week...i'm sitting here crying at my desk trying to duck down and keep anyone from seeing. this is an incredibly sweet post, your grandma sounds like a wonderful and strong lady.

and i absolutely love that shoulder picture. so saucy!

love you lots, and i'm sure your grandma is smiling down at you lovin how well you rock her jewels.

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I know how devastating it is.

Mandy @ In the Fashion Lane said...

What a beautiful post. You gave your Grandma an amazing tribute! It is wonderful that you have so many special memories and that she LOVED you so much! You are and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

Dirt On The Rocks said...

my condolences goes out to you and your family. Your grandmother from what I've read was a wonderful woman and she'll definitely be remembered greatly by the ones who loved her. She's in a much better place now.

Jaime @ laviejaime said...

so sorry for your loss..i just passed the 10 year "anniversary" of my paternal grandma's death. very tough to lose her. i love that first photo...sounds like you have great memories to cherish :)

Slamdunk said...

I am sorry for your loss Caitlin, and appreciate you sharing her inspirational story with us.

Raven said...

I have missed you so!!!!!!!

Your grandma is most definitely BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Guess you take after her, yes??

You are gorgeous. So is your grandma. I really loved this post.

PorkStar said...

Awww Cate this was a very beautiful post, very inspirational too. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope all is well.

Kara said...

Oh girl, I am so sorry for your loss. She looks and sounds like an absolutely stunning woman. She can rest in peace knowing that your gorgeous self is continuing her legacy!

I hope your family can find peace during this very hard time.

naghmeh said...

aw Caitlin I'm really sorry to hear that. She looks like she was such a fabulous fashionista!

Raven said...

I loved this post and love all the words you had to say. My grandma has cancer again HOWEVER all sounds good, as she is expected to make a full recovery. But I know how important grandparents are. You and yours seemed so loved, and loving :)

also, LOVED your hair dark. LOVED it.

Mairyliscious said...

she will be always in your heart ! such a chic lady !