Often times Jill would mention, "I got to talk w/ Grandma today." My grandma, not hers.
From the moment the two of them met, Jill and Grandma hit it off. (To be honest, there weren't many people that Jilly didn't find some immediate connection to...unless they were full on curmudgeons.) Almost immediately Grandma gained a grandchild and Jill a grandmother. Jilly just had a way of shortcutting her way into the family. She just had a way about her. It wasn't forceful. It was warm, open, honest, natural. Really, all the qualities that originally drew me to her.
And so it was. The relationship grew to where Grandma and Jill spoke at least once a week. And if I'm honest, that may be more frequently than I spoke to my own grandma.
It was quite a beautiful relationship. Each would call the other just to check in. Grandma nearing (then into) her eighties was contracting some health issues. And we're all up to speed on Jill's health challenges. The two of them would look out for one another from a distance (Grandma in Tennessee), making health related suggestions on a regular basis. Whatever they could do for each other to make life a little bit easier, they tried.
At one point in this last year, Grandma refused to drink water. She didn't like the taste. (What?) We needed a plan. Immediately, Jill had two. 1. She ordered and mailed Grandma an infuser. Grandma could fill the pitcher w/ water and infuse it w/ different fruits to mask the taste of straight water. Brilliant. Grandma didn't use it. 2. Jill suggested sending Grandma one of those old school helmets flanked w/ a bottle on each side w/ straws that come down to your mouth...so you can walk and suck w/ ease. Jilly even wanted to brand it w/ the Pittsburgh Steelers' logo (Grandma's hometown team) to make it more appealing. Ultimately this one fell thru...
But, again, just a couple examples of how they cared for one another.
Grandma would call me periodically, quickly - but sincerely - ask me how I am, make sure I'm upright, then dive into Jill. "How's Jilly doing, honey?" And she always had a suggestion to make things better. Is she taking this? Consider taking that. Try using this when that happens.
Jill and Grandma
And as of last night, the two of them are now reunited.
Please please please continue to look out for one another...and if time permits, help me guide that beautiful eight year old into a bright, prosperous, and healthy future. Love you both, always
J, J, & r & G