Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Farewell to Our Ghee

On July 3rd, my beautiful, strong, funny, smart, stylish, talented, loving stepmama lost her incredibly courageous 3 year battle with ovarian cancer, which she beat once but then returned. Her name was Mary, but she was Essley’s and Emmett’s adored “Ghee” (Essley couldn’t say “Grammy” as a baby, so Ghee it was), and she become known as Ghee to all of us. She was also my dad’s beloved (and extremely patient) wife of what would have been 20 years on their next anniversary.

When someone passes away, it is in our nature as humans to talk about their most desirable traits, but in this case, ALL of her traits were desirable. Mary/Ghee was genuinely the most positive person I’ve ever known. I never heard her complain. No really, I didn’t. Not once. I never heard her raise her voice. She never got angry, upset, or visibly frustrated. She was always calm. Always optimistic. Always full of intense love for life and living. Even in her last weeks, when she was too weak to eat or even move, she never complained. Throughout her struggles with cancer, she vehemently assured us there was no pain. (Whether or not there was we don’t know, but she claimed to feel none.) She was also the most selfless person I’ve ever known. A week ago, when she was still able to talk (well, whisper anyway), my sister and I sat next to her bed and asked if she was in pain. She said no, but then asked us if there was anyone there she should be taking care of. She was exhausted, confused, and extremely weak, but all she could think about was that someone else might need her. That was our Ghee.

When she was diagnosed in June 2017, she decided her motto in response would be “WTF.” We had WTF hats made and wore them proudly.

Ghee loved fashion and art, and had an incredible sense of style. She loved jazz music. She loved books and volunteered at the library for many years, delivering books to the elderly. She loved animals and regularly donated to a local shelter. She was extremely social and had a huge group of friends who adored her. She and my dad would be approached regularly by former students of hers (she was a retired elementary school teacher) who would tell them she was their all time favorite teacher. She was very talented at quilting and knitting, and made us (especially the kids) countless gorgeous hats, scarves, mittens, shawls, and blankets. She made a mean fresh whipped cream. She was an absolutely amazing grandmother and did so much for our babes. She was a wonderful second mom to me and my sister. She was progressive, open minded, compassionate, and welcoming to everyone, no matter what. She was so, so special.

We are gutted to lose her. It doesn’t matter that we knew it was coming. It f-ing hurts. My heart is absolutely broken for my dad. I hate this. But I also know what vibrant, cheerful, life-loving Ghee would do. And after I let myself feel sad for a while, I will do just that.


1 comment:

  1. Melissa, I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    Sending comforting hugs.


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