Sometimes mortality is just everywhere you look.
One of my mentors passed away unexpectedly this week. He and his wife co-owned the Halloween costume factory I worked at for 5 summers during college. He taught me how to calculate product prices and took me to my first trade show. He was the very young grandfather of a good friend in high school, and back then I was scared of him the way that most dads who’re men’s men are scary when you’re in high school. I grew to love and respect and cherish him during our time together, and now I get to miss him and worry about his family and honor his memory.
Last week, I was asked to honor the memory of a pair of twin sisters’ Grammie. They approached me to make undies out of her knit nightgowns, and I couldn’t have been more touched. It’s the sweetest, most heartbreaking thing I’ve been asked to do in this business. I feel privileged and honored to help them celebrate her life and memory. The nightgowns are adorable: one is light pink, another light blue paisley and the third is animal print. I like to picture the woman who used to wear them and imagine how tickled she would be at her granddaughters.
I’m still lucky enough to be able to call my Granma, so I gave her a ring (totally old school :)) to say hello after I first heard from the sisters. She was happy to hear from me, and started telling me about all the things I’ll inherit from her sewing room when she passes. She also let me know she had a bunch of nightgowns she thought would be perfect for underwear someday. (Granma is the reason making underwear is normal in my family, but that’s for another post. :)) More often than not these days, she’s thinking of things we’ll get or how her stuff will take care of us after she goes. It wasn’t always this way, but then, she and my Granpa have only recently started to outlive their closest friends. Life stages are so much more interesting now that I’m old enough to pay attention (another life stage?!? :)).
If you have a Granma or a Grammie or a Nana or a mentor or teacher or loved one, maybe you’ll drop them a line this week? Just to say hello.