A grandmother’s passing, memories, an assessment of life.

It is with a heavy heart that I pen this post. Most of the time I wax poetic here on subjects near and dear to me such as food gluttony, craft beer discoveries, athletic pursuits, along with assorted observations of NYC living with the occasional rant thrown in. I try to keep it light and humorous. This is not one of those times as my mood is mixed and melancholy. My grandmother passed away last week. It was one of those things that came on suddenly and I found myself on a last minute flight down to Florida just to make it in time to say goodbye. The week was a whirlwind of emotions as we quickly set up the wake and burial. She lived a long life at almost 95 years, and was with us all the time growing up as she helped raise my sister and I. In fact, she lived with us her whole life as my mom and dad took her in. She was always there. Loved and cared for us. I have been to enough family passings over my years but this one shook me to the core. My grandmother had a large family with six other siblings that were all my great aunts and uncles. Many lived on the same street as us, and all from the old Brooklyn neighborhood I was born in. Now, they are all gone. She was the last one. This is the first time in my life I can recall not having one of them around. It’s a strange and unknown feeling for me. I know she is in a better place now, hopefully reunited with her siblings, and much beloved parents. I’ll always love her and have so many great memories of my grandmother in my life. Yes, I’ll miss her as the tears are still fresh. It’s a part of life that we all have to accept, sad most times, but as they say life does go on. Keep those memories close to your heart and remember the good times. As hard as it is we need to keep living and honor them. Love ya’ Grandma.

Even in her 90's my Grandma could eat with the best of them! Taken Oct 2013.
Even in her 90’s my Grandma could eat with the best of them! Taken Oct 2013.

This got me to thinking about my own life. So many of us are caught up in the day to day doldrums that suck up all of our time. Work. Parenting. Errands. The daily rat race. So many of us never take the time to exhale and actually live life. Do the things we really want to do. Discover. Adventures and experiences. Travel. Learning. In the reality of life we are all here for such a short period of time. No matter if we are 25, 40, or 75 it does go by quick, and before you know it the years pass by so rapidly we struggle with the thought of not having enough time left to accomplish our dreams and goals. Is this really the way we should all be living? Is this really was life is meant to be? Why are so many of us scared to make a move? To do the things we really want to do to make us happy. Fear seems to take a grip and holds us captive. Before all time is gone and it’s too late just go out and do something to change it. Break free of whatever holds us back. Make a move. Decide. It doesn’t have to be Earth shattering. Start with the little things. Do something to make yourself more fulfilled and happy. Feed your soul so to speak.

I have decided to make some changes in my life after this Labor Day weekend. A few things that I have kept on the backburner for too long. Things I want to do and experience. Before time runs out. We all don’t know how long we really have on this planet so why not make the most of it? That old saying about aging gracefully is a bunch of crap. I’m going to fight it kicking and screaming the whole way. Time to live.



In the meantime, hope you all enjoy the Labor Day weekend. Relish the holiday and have some fun. After all, having some enjoyment in life makes it all worthwhile. Eat! Drink! Laugh! Even if we have to go back to work on Tuesday. Bleech!


68 thoughts on “A grandmother’s passing, memories, an assessment of life.”

  1. Nice tribute to your Grandma – what a sweet pic. 🙂
    Good luck to you – hope you blog about your upcoming accomplishments so I can live vicariously through you. I currently don’t have the funds to do all the things I’d love to do… *wipes tear* 🙁
    Enjoy the weekend!

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss, Phil. This is a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. After losing my father and then my sister a short time later, I decided it was time to pick up the reins in life and follow my dreams. You are so correct—time is fleeting and it’s now or never to start LIVING. Hugs XO

  3. (((Phil))), I’m so sorry about your grandma. Relish the memories of her, being such a big part of your life growing up and as an adult. It’s so awesome that she lived so long, more time to make those wonderful memories. Happy Labor Day.

  4. What a moving way to say good-bye to your grandma and to also look ahead at the same time. As for Labor Day Weekend, make it a good one 🙂

  5. Phil, I am so sorry for your loss. You’re so right…make a move…start with the little things. Life is too short, and tomorrow is promised to no one. What a tribute to your grandmother in accomplishing exactly what you hope to accomplish. Do it…find what makes you happy and do it.

  6. So very sorry on the passing of your Grandmother Phil. I’m sure she was a terrific woman and you were so blessed to have her throughout your life. May this time be reflective on those things you shared together, and in the inspired new developments of your life. Best Wishes to you and all of your family. Peggy

  7. I’m sorry for your loss, Phil. Losing a loved one is something that everyone experiences in a different way, but no matter how you grieve, it is the right way for you. I’m glad you have happy memories and pictures to cherish for the rest of your life. 92 is a good long while to occupy space on this planet. I hope I’m as lucky.

    I decided a number of years ago that I was not going to live in fear any longer. My mother was a big proclaimer of “don’t do that you’ll, fall,” “you’ll break your neck,” “you’ll lose a finger.” No matter what adventurous thing I wanted to do, she had some crazy reason why I would get hurt doing it. I grew up believing that. But not any more, so what if I fall, I’ll get back up. If I break something, it’ll heal. I’m being careful, but I’m not letting my “fear,” of possibly falling keep me from trying something. That’s just silly.

    So good for you. Get out there. Live. Enjoy!

    And I’m lifting a glass to grandma!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Hello Patricia,

      Thanks so much. Yes, many of us had the overprotective parent. Mine was the same way. I just moved on and did those things anyway.

  8. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute to your Grandma with us Phil… May she rest in peace and may her memories remain alive always.
    Hugs, buddy, Aquileana !

  9. Dear Phil, I’m so sorry to hear your news. It’s never easy to lose a loved one and your grandma sounds like she was a very important and special part of your life. I’ve always had the feeling that underneath the crazy joie de vivre of yours lies a heart of gold and the sensitivities of a great big softie! I am guessing your grandma had something to do with that! I know you will keep all the wonderful memories close and in time the pain will soften. Grief isn’t an easy process but often a lot of good comes from it. Your plans for change are important. Go for it because every day is a gift. Onward!

  10. Oh Phil, I am so sorry for your loss. She is absolutely adorable and I love that she loved to eat! It’s never easy, no matter what the age of your loved one. Thinking about you. 🙂 🙂

  11. I so sorry to hear about your loss, Phil. I lost two grandparents this year and I never seem to get used to saying goodbye. The good thing is, they will live on in our hearts and all that we do to honor their memory. Have a good Labor Day weekend and may you find some peace.

  12. Phil, you have my deepest sympathies… your grandma sounds like an amazing person who had a profound impact on your life. I have an inkling how you feel… it’s an awful feeling. Life does move fast and if you don’t look around once in a while we just might miss it. Ferris was a bright kid who taught us a lot and yet we continue to not look around and take it all in. We get caught up working hard, working late, and grinding it out. I’ve been wanting to make changes, too and there never seems a good time to start, now is as good as ever. Just don’t stop blogging… I look forward to your tales of NYC and all it’s goodness.

  13. I’m so sorry Phil. It’s devastating to lose someone close to you no matter how many years they’ve spent on this good earth. My thoughts are with you and your family. I love the picture you posted of your grandmother. My most vivid memories of my grandparents involve food, sitting with family around a dining room table or at a table at a Chinese restaurant.

  14. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother Phil. Now I know what you meant…!
    Words cannot bring her back but perhaps it’s a little consolation that you grew up to know her and she would have given you a peek and insight into what life was, and is like. A lady who has lived for almost 100 years has seen everything there is to see: both the good and the bad. Yourgrandmother has lived a full life and will pass away knowing that she has fulfilled her purpose and was surrounded by loved ones. How many of us can say the same?

    I agree with you. We should think a little but live more, and do whatever it takes. Lots of ((hugs)).

  15. Phil, I know there’s nothing that I can say to truly express how sorry I am at your loss. I lost my grandparents, both in their 90s within a few years of each other and I know how painful it is. I also know how very grateful I am to have had them for so long.
    I’m so glad that you’re going to pull some of the things that have meaning to you off of the back burner and do something about them. Look forward to seeing what changes you’re making.

  16. I’m sorry for your loss Phil. Love your post motivating post about living our lives to the fullest. The biggest smile I got out of this post was seeing that plate of food in from of your grandmother. Love! You enjoy your long weekend too!

  17. Very sorry to hear of your loss Phil.

    It sounds as though she lived a grand old age and it must be very precious in knowing that you were able to make it down in time for a final goodbye.

    RIP Grandma.

    You are right, we only get one shot at this life and we have to take the opportunities we can. Sincere best wishes with my prayers Phil.

  18. Phil I’m so sorry to hear about the lose of such a wonderful woman. That photo tells me she had some spunk! This is a lovely tribute to a lovely women who meant so much to your family. I just love that she lived with your family, that is how it should be.

    I will certainly take your advice and take some of that crap off of my back burner … it’s getting crowded.

    In the meantime I will hold you and your family in a positive light for peace.

  19. I’m so sorry for your lost. My grandfather passed away and he was apart of my life just as much as my parents. It hit me hard but your post about living life is so true. Part of his passing we talked before about a bucket list so I made mind. I try to do something off of my list as much as I can. My list isn’t about dying it’s about living.

  20. It sounds like your grandmother was a wonderful person- I’m so sorry for your loss. You’ve written such a lovely tribute here. I’ll keep her in my prayers.

  21. Phil, I’m sorry to hear about your Grandmother. She sounds like a wonderful woman and it’s great that you had quality time with her while growing up under the same roof. She is looking down and smiling at you for penning this wonderful tribute here. I agree that we need to take time in life to simply ‘enjoy’ it and breathe, rather than being in such a rush every day. Take care, my friend.

  22. So sorry to hear that, my sincerest condolences. I know a lot of people would probably say that she had a long life and it was just her time to go, but when it comes to grandmas, there’s no such thing. They’re supposed to live forever…

  23. Sorry for you loss, Phil. Sounds like she lived one heck of a life! And I hope your epiphany helps you get some things done you always wanted to do!

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