This weekend my sister, Lynn, delivered some terrible news. My grandmother Bitsey passed away Saturday morning. It was the culmination of a long and drawn out process that has been deteriorating for the last three years, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.
Bitsey was full of love and cheer her entire life. I am grateful for every chance I got to be with her over the last 24 years. Even though she lived 2,000 miles away in Williams Bay, WI, my parents took Lynn and me out to the Midwest twice a year throughout our youths to connect with our roots. My fondest childhood memories include all the time I spent with Bitsey whether it was playing with her toy dogs on the floor, opening presents Christmas morning, relaxing on the porch at Pikewood, or going out to dinner at The Village.
A month before this motorcycle adventure I made one last trip to Wisconsin to seeBitsey and all my other relatives. I packed a lot into the quick four-day visit, but most important now was the afternoon that I got to see Bitsey in her home. She didn’t say much and obviously lacked strength, but the excitement in her eye was still there and her smile as I always remembered it.
People say that when you come back from a journey such as the one I’m on right now, nothing at home has changed. Well, that may generally be the case, but I’m no longer convinced. Fast times and new experiences suddenly don’t seem so magnificent when they are in the way of family reunions and goodbyes. I considered a flight from Mexico City to Chicago for Thursday’s funeral but it is simply not feasible. For that, I am eternally saddened.
I could go on for hours, but those memories are for me and me only. Everyone please keep Bitsey in your hearts and prayers now that she is finally free.