A wonderful woman passed out of this life yesterday. Words simply don’t seem to be able to contain the magnitude of my Grammy’s character. I could describe her awe-inspiring photography – photos taken from all over the world that could still your heart, from the polar bears of Alaska, to the cherry blossoms in China, wildflowers in Death Valley, and roses from Huntington Gardens. I could describe her fierce independence – still driving her own car and keeping her own house at 92, teaching herself how to use Adobe Photoshop better than anyone I know my own age. I could describe her astonishing intelligence – accepted to UCLA as a young woman on aptitude scores alone after attending a non-accredited charter high school, and blowing us away every once in a while with her particularly astute political observations. I could describe her age-defying health – hiking daily up her hill and playing tennis until only a few years ago, traveling to China last year on a photo tour, beating me every time at the crossword and impressing everyone who met her and assumed she was 70. I could describe her amazing angel food cake, her smile wrinkles, tennis obsession, love of hummingbirds, penchant for turquoise, her special relationship with my dog Sammy…but none of this would be enough. Because she was my Grammy, and she meant more to me than the sum of all her parts. I will miss her every day, and our family will not be the same without her.
This blog wasn’t intended for such personal posts, but it is largely due to my grandmother’s influence that I am the independent and adventurous person I am today. I feel that my travels, photos, and studies are all inherently linked to this amazing woman, and in continuing to pursue my passions and share them with the world, I will truly have my grandmother with me for the rest of my life.