I lived far away from my own grandparents. My parents are both from Oklahoma but moved to Louisiana after they got married so my dad could work in the oil field. We went to visit every summer for two weeks but it's not the same as living close by. And there are 12 grandchild on each side. So I was just one of many. And that is not to say that my grandparents didn't love me or do things for/with me. It is just a fact. But BT and his family lived down the road, practically next door to his father's parents. He and his brother developed a close relationship with them, the kind of relationship I lacked with my own, the kind if I am being entirely honest I envy. Noni often referred to BT and his brother as her "special boys." They are the oldest by about 6 years and so they had her all to themselves for a long time.
I meet her about a year or so after I started dating BT. I guess I knew her about 13 years or so. She was a kind and sweet lady and very funny. I love grown men and their mothers. I love grown men and their grandmothers. When Noni was around the dynamic shifted and my father-in-law had less ground to grumble on then he usually did. When we went to church she didn't take communion and I am not Catholic so we often sat together while everyone else went ahead. Noni was very easy to talk to and we had some good conversations. She wasn't my grandmother by blood but she never treated me like an add-on. She treated me like she did the rest of her grandchildren. I was always grateful for that.
There are a million things I wish. I wish we hadn't been such lazy grandchildren and called her more or mailed her more cards. I wish we could have made it to Boston at least once to see her, to show her Button and for her to really get to see Bub. I am sad that she is gone. I am sad that Button's birthday will always be tinged with sorrow. I am sad for her family, for her children and her grandchildren and that so many of her great-grandchildren won't get to know her. She was a wonderful lady and she will be sorely missed.
"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things." - Lemony Snicket