Just before midnight Tuesday my Nanny (my maternal grandmother) passed away. She was the matriarch of our family, and had a titanic force of presence when she entered the room. She was a selfless woman, always happy to lend a helpful hand or a caring ear, never expecting anything in return. She was a strong women, a fighter, blessing us with six months of 'extra' time despite a medical prognosis of a couple weeks. It is never enough time, but that addition gave us a few extra birthdays, a few extra holidays, and meant that she was able to meet and get to know her second great-grandchild (and first great-granddaughter). It was not just 'extra' time, but quality time. Time filled with stories, time bringing the family closer, and time to say goodbye.
She is survived by her husband, two children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren (so far). Tomorrow at her services before heading to the cemetery, I fully expect to be surrounded by a almost 100 family-members/cousins, with hundreds more friends paying their last respects. Even those numbers pale in comparison to her direct impact, let alone the ripple effect from her actions in life. Afterwords, we will head to the cemetery and bury her. I fully expect it to be one of the most difficult things I will have ever done, but by religion and family tradition I believe it is the last mitzvah you can ever do for someone. If anyone in this world deserves a mitzvah it would have to be my Nanny.
Rest in Peace Nanny.