That’s correct—surrounded by so many people that she brought into the pool (and the people they brought into the pool), who all assured her that it was okay if was done swimming, my grandma got out of the water. It was a real blessing for so many of us to be able to be there to say good-bye, and to know that she didn’t suffer horribly and she lived a nice, full life. It was also a great blessing that she was able to go through this transition in her home, with so many wonderful people there to support her, and with her little dog Mattie.
My grandma was influential in my development as a writer, by the way. She worked as a proofreader for many years, and always wrote poetry and various prose of which I haven’t seen nearly enough. I first learned that I was a poet when I brought her a flower one day, explaining that, because she’d missed the pretty rainbow after the rain, I wanted to bring it to her. But she always had great pens, and a typewriter. I told my mom tonight: I used to break into Grandma’s house when she wasn’t home. I stole a pen from her once. I think my obsession with good pens took root in her home. Later down the road (shortly before I began shoplifting nice pens from gas stations and the Parkland Bookstore, among other places), I brought my first real short story down to Grandma’s house, and she took my handwritten copy and typed it for me, not correcting my work because it was for an assignment in school (she put “sic” behind my misspellings, of which there was only one, I believe—”chaffeur”—who knows how to spell that?). And later after that, I spent as much time at her house as possible, playing with the computer that my uncle gave to her. I was fascinated by this software development company processing software, and continue to be to this day, even if I have finally become able to write good stuff by hand again.
I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see her on my graduation day, and I’m glad that I was able to be with her in the final days and kiss her goodbye.