For 45 years I was blessed to have my Memere in my life.

Not a moment goes by since her passing last week that I am not grateful for this. Though our worlds went in very separate directions as I grew to adulthood, our lives will forever be intrinsically connected if, for no other reason than, that without her, I would not be.

Mem and Pep's engagement photo
My Grandparent’s engagement photo.

Born a Lescarbeau in July of 1918 – a time when she could have hardly predicted where the world would evolve to – she became a Splaine in 1937 when she married my Grandfather, the handsome Irish lad, Francis.

wedding certificate

Grandparent's wedding party

By the four children she shared with the world, 14 grandchildren carried on creating 18 great-grandchildren and now 2 great-great grandchildren. A legacy almost unheard of in today’s generation and one I certainly wish I could have followed, though I am definitely failing to do so. She was a classic lady living a very real “small-town” New England lifestyle.

My Grandmother, Yvonne Splaine
My Grandmother, Yvonne Splaine

My trip back to Massachusetts last week was filled with so many emotions, feelings and thoughts. In some ways it felt like I was time-warped into a past life, a different world really. One I can certainly relate too and find comfort with the longer I’m there visiting. I fit there somehow, though I certainly fit here with my husband, daughters and grandsons in California, too.

Seeing the cousins I’ve loved for as long as I can remember being able to do so, was absolutely incredible. Seeing their children play at my Grandparent’s home, as we did when we were little, is a memory I hope to never forget. Seeing my dearest friend, her hubby and her two sons who I love as family, and always will, was such an added bonus to the whole purpose of the trip.

This past week, filled with sadness and laughter, tears and joy was such a celebration of the beautiful (and might I add, wrinkle-free) women who will always be my one and only Memere. I loved her in a way I almost didn’t know existed until now. Yes, I’ve lost loved ones in the past, but somehow I felt connected to her in a such a different way. Call it maternal or spiritual or even just genetic. Call it whatever you want, I felt such a unique connection to her – I felt her moving on as it were, passing through to the spiritual world and I felt her acceptance and readiness and even her eagerness to do so. Though there is some comfort in knowing she was ready, and knowing she won’t be alone, it doesn’t erase my sadness for her not being here. For 45 years of my life she has been an absolute constant in my world.

Memere and Mom
My Memere with my mom on her lap and her nephew next to her

She leaves behind her an exhibition of faith that can be so lacking in our world today. A faith in God and a belief in a heaven where we will all be together again. I honor her in striving to be as faithful as she was throughout her life. I hope to love my family as she has loved her’s – tirelessly, completely and without question. In fact, I always say, when it comes to my daughters and my grandsons, my only job is to love them. I believe I learned this from her. No matter what, we all always knew that she and my Pepere were there for us, on our side with their love and support. I honor them in carrying this forward in my life.

Mem, Pep, Me and John
My Memere with my brother and my Pepere with me.

Though she has moved on and is reunited with those we have loved who have left this worldly plane, and though I will miss her terribly, I also want to appreciate being here in the world of the “living”. I believe she would want this and in doing so, I think it’s very important to focus on the people who are physically present and who bless our lives on Earth. To be grateful for them and to appreciate this life that we get to share with them. I believe this must be something she has taught me. She lived through hard times and sadness and still she kept going.

This past week I was fortunately able to see all my Aunts and Uncles, cousins and their children on my Mother’s side of the family. What a blessing to have had this time together – celebrating the matriarch of our family. Thank you Memere for creating a world where we can all come together through the bond of family and truly enjoy seeing each other.

We should all be so lucky to live 95 years in a world where we are so cared for. To be so loved, we have to also give such love, and she certainly did just that.

Both of my Grandmothers at my parent’s wedding reception – how beautiful are they?

I hope everyone reading this will take a moment to share love with those around them, remember their loved ones who have moved on and take a moment to try to improve their own beings and place in this world. If you do, you too can be lucky enough to have a family cherish you as much as we did our Memere someday.