My grandma turned 95 last January and shortly after her birthday, she had a stroke. I wanted her to hold on to meet my baby and she did. She fought. She held my baby many times and near the end, when she was confined to her bed and she barely had the strength to stay awake, he gripped her finger and gave her a wide, gummy grin. I couldn't ask for anything more. I couldn't wish for her to get better.
She gave me her pumpkin pie recipe and her snappy tongue. I have her love of dogs and her wonky thyroid. I use Ivory soap because of her. Shortbread cookies covered in red and green sugar will always take me back to her kitchen.
My grandma was not an affectionate lady. She didn't call us "sweetie" or bestow us with kisses or cuddles. I never once heard her say "I love you" to anyone - ever - but I never doubted that she loved us all, fiercely. She was strong. The strongest lady I've ever known. I hope she gave me even just an ounce of her strength.