remembering DSL

this morning. two years ago. my dad’s ringtone went off at 7 am. i cant really remember the words but i something was said that along the lines that grandma desyl didnt make it through the night. what do you mean she didn’t make it, i didn’t know there was a a question she wouldn’t. the conversation was short, he had other calls to make, but that was the first call i’d ever received with news that a part of our family was gone. i’d never experienced death really and never with someone who had impacted my life so much. i dont think i even knew how to react. i remember running downstairs to quinn. she let me hysterically cry on her shoulder and comforted me better than anyone else could. now, when she went, she was almost 105 years old. she lived an absolutely complete life.she traveled the world with the love of her life. she created a legacy. she is my inspiration.  a life to reach 105 years should be rejoiced not mourned. but there is no way to dull the edge. losing a family member leaves an empty space in your heart. it doesn’t matter if they were 17 or 71.

im not writing all this today to drum up sad feelings for myself. im writing this today to remember and honor her. its the same thing anyone should do on a day like this. remembering, honoring and passing down is something that means she will never be forgotten. nor will anyone that you’ve lost. i feel like death can almost teach you how to love stronger, better, and without gap. she was the cornerstone and the source of the Lindquist’s line from Sweden. without her I would not have my father or endless memories of ‘playing kitty’ on our backs’ as kids, receiving a plastic photo album every xmas with perfectly posed pictures from her trusty film camera, the photos i have of dressing up in her vintage attic clothes, the source for tradition and love of clip on earrings. the woman who penciled on one eyebrow a bit lower than the other and the one who taught me what gentle love was. she was the most beautiful person i’ve ever known. cared for the others first with the most genuine and caring part of her heart. she had a wicked sense of humor and could command attention at a full table.

[ a few years back, yet always with the gum in my mouth ]

– me & the lovely lady –

my siblings, cousins, and I have been mindful to never stop talking about her. to tell her stories. favorite memories and never let her legacy simmer. i remember worrying that the day i forget the sounds of her voice or how she said my name, that time would white out my detailed memory of her. i remember holding her jewelry this day last year and being able to still distinctly smell her perfume. i know, though, she will never be gone. i know death will be come into reality at different spots of my life and aside from the fact that i have full confidence in knowing where she is now, i also carry her with me because of all the life lessons and displays of character that she imprinted on me.

it’s interesting to see how one handles death. you wont know it, til its at your door. some need the comfort of others. some a distraction. some solice. i spent that day alone and writing. go figure. so now, 2 years later i’m taking a few minutes to honor the impact she’s had on me and thank her for the inevitable traditions i will pass on to my kids and them theirs. im sure my grandkids will be playing kitty on thier kids backs as they fall asleep and that the name desyl will be be the middle name of one of our daughters.

so since that day, i’ve been careful to take note on what i’ve learned from the situation and from her life. i know i felt selfish that the last time i could have seen her, i didnt. i know i felt lucky that the last day i got to spend with her, God gave us an intimate convsation and one-on-one time on her last mothers day. i know that she taught me that oil of olay keeps your skin perfect til ago 104 and that the only thing that truly matters after 100 years of living is the family around you and the legacy you leave behind. that when it’s all said and done, you will be remembered as only a few things. wife, mother, daughter, lover, Christ follower. that the reason i recall her as one of the most impactful people in my life was because of her ability to listen. that her memories are so vivid, she still seems alive.

i know this isn’t a light and airy read. but i think that its healthy to stop and take note of this feeling and to be mindful to not take for granted the family members and friends that have made you who you are yet often get put on the back burner. i have wanted to physically remember her with something. to take what i learned from her and physically have something to show for it. so naturally, i thought of a tattoo. my grandma wasn’t too happy to hear of this idea, although my grandpa loves it. i think a tattoo is appropriate in only a few situations and in a time you have a life lesson and want to have a reminder of a belief you hold to the core.

i wanted to get that tattoo in a spot unseen (on my ribcage, on the right side, under the side of my bra strap…if i need to be detailed) and on this day, but im not. i still may, but just when my sisters are present. it would be small and most always unseen, but i just really feel drawn to get it. after a lot of thought of how i’d summarize her memory and a life principle i want on my body, i came up with “cherish the present.” it seems to explain perfect what i learned from her and what i want to be mindful of in my life. i tend to get caught up in things, goals and daily to-do’s that sometimes i let special times or events take place with other thoughts of short termed nothings clouding my mind. the principle i learned from my time in Sweden, a life changing trip – was to keep balance, the beauty in enjoying the relationships you have already around you, and something that photography makes me constantly reminded of. there really is a lot of reasoning behind those three words…cherish the present…and this post is already all too long. i’ve learned this lesson and been reminded of why its so important repeatedly these past few years and it jut seems so fitting. i dont need your permission nor approval, but i wanted to give a little background. so if in a few weeks, a few inked photos show up here….you’ll know why.

thoughts? you like the phrase? the idea? the meaning? i also wanted to get it in Swedish, considering that’s where she was from and that was literally where my life was changed for the better and i found my calling. i think a tattoo needs to represent a story and a way to tell a principle you hold to your core. it’s just an idea. a 64% chance. feel free to weigh in.

I’ll stop writing and you can look forward to tomorrow being a day that i counter-act all these words with a million wedding photos. i love them. im proud of them,. come on back for a full visual overload.

~ by Andria on July 6, 2010.

3 Responses to “remembering DSL”

  1. Go ahead and get the tattoo, others get them for reasons just like you’re thinking about.
    I can remember when my great grandmother passed, I was still a kid, the blaring ring of a rotary dial phone in the middle of the night, somehow I knew what the call was about. It was a sad time.
    Now, let’s see some red shoes! (from the wedding….)

  2. Beautiful Andi… as you are!!

  3. I think you should get it! It took me 7 years to decide whether I should get an Ichthus (Jesus symbol) on my right foot by my toes and finally 2 years ago I did. I have never regretted it and like you said, it’s ‘a reminder of a belief you hold to the core.’ I get asked about it almost every time I get a pedicure and it’s been a great reminder to live my life bodly for Christ. What a great way to remember your Grandma. She sounds like she was a wonderful lady.

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