My Grandma Chicago

It was with deep sadness that I learned yesterday evening that my Grandma, Patricia Essick, passed away. She is a woman I can hardly say I knew in any practical sense. I don’t know where she was born, who her parents were, or what kind of childhood she had. I didn’t grow up making frequent visits to her house, getting together at the holidays, or having much contact at all from the time I was a small child until a few years ago when we were able to reunite online. Divorce can be brutal in that way, stealing relationships before they have even had time to truly develop.

When I was a really little girl my grandma lived in Chicago and for some reason, that is what I called her. My Grandma Chicago. Although I don’t remember much else about the times I spent with her, or have any pictures of her and I together that could even attempt to jostle my memories, I know there was an endless and unconditional supply of love in each moment we did get to share together. I know that she lived and breathed copious amounts of love for me and my sister, even though we couldn’t be present to experience it.

I have some vague memories of a camping trip with my Grandma Chicago, playing cards, and when I was older, going with her to a family members graveside service. Most vividly though, I remember my grandma’s warmth, her caring smile, and the way her eyes would shine and sparkle when I ran up to give her a hug. She’s always been someone that I have felt incredibly connected to despite circumstances that kept us at a distance throughout most of my life. I think we share the same loving, compassionate, and nurturing spirit and I am ever so grateful I will get to carry that piece of her with me to share with my children and family.

Shortly after we moved to Colorado and had Zoren, my grandma and I got back in touch through the wonderful world of social media. I am so thankful for that. So glad to have had that connection with her again and to get the opportunity to know her a little better. To help her know me and my children, her great grandchildren. Even though she never got to meet Zoren and Astoria, the wonders of Facebook intertwined their childhood with her life and I know she got a glimpse of how happy they are and how much I love them. And I, in turn got to have a piece of my grandma back for a few years. I got to smile at each of her posts and comments telling me how great of a mother I am, how proud she is of me, and how much love she has for me and for her great grandchildren. It’s amazing how much encouragement, positivity, and unconditional love can be spread through just a few small words and shared photographs.

I love you Grandma Chicago and you will surely be missed but never far from our hearts.

One Comments to “My Grandma Chicago”

  1. Joy Ribar says:

    Beautifully written, Erica. I am sorry your Grandma Chicago was not a larger part of your life. I am partly responsible for that along with the distance from Montello to Chicago and well, other reasons. You held a very treasured place in her heart as her first grandchild – know that. I am glad you were able to reconnect for a time.

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