Skip to main content

In memoriam

My reading was scant last month, only 4 books. What they were isn‘t important, and there will be no reading report for April. I read them more as a way to distract myself than for enjoyment. More important things took priority over reading. I do not consider school work – of which I had plenty –more important than reading for fun, especially since I am not aiming for a degree, but other things are more important, even for a confirmed bibliophile. Such as family.

My grandmother, my amma, died on April 18th, the last day of winter. I loved her more than just about anyone, except possibly my parents and my brother. I miss her terribly. 

She was in a rest home, then in hospital, then in a hospital hotel, then again in hospital, and finally in a recovery home for the final four months of her life and I visited her every day except for the Easter holiday when I went north to stay with my parents, and the 10 days I spent at home with the flu (which I caught off her the second time she ended up in the hospital). All that time she was weak and tired but always alert and clear-headed, and we talked of all kinds of things, both trivial and important, looked at old photographs and told each other stories. I will treasure that time, despite the pain it gave me to see her slowly get weaker and more frustrated with her situation. One day she took a turn for the worse and three days later she was gone. 

Sometimes it feels as if she is still here. At those moments, it is not in the recovery home I feel I will find her, but at her house, ready to feed me pancakes and coffee and show me her latest craft project. 

She rests in peace, free of pain and illness at last, in a beautiful little country cemetery. She chose her final resting place herself and wrote a lovely hymn that was sung at her funeral, in equal measure a goodbye and a declaration of faith. Wherever her spirit is, I don‘t know, but I do know she is happy and healthy. It does not make the loss of her any less painful. 

We shared a love of books and reading.  Saying I got my love of reading from her would be to undervalue the role my mother played in that process, but amma did encourage it and gave me free access to her library and never tried to censor my reading or push particular books on me. I am now the guardian of some of her beloved books, books that she kept in a place of honour in her living room. I know that when I look at them and especially when I pick one up to read it, it will remind me of her. Which is as it should be. She lives on in the things she left behind and most of all in the people she left: her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


I am so sorry to hear about the death of your dear grandmother. I can tell that you loved her and she will be greatly missed. You should be content, however, in knowing that you demonstrated your love for her every single day by visiting her and listening to her.

My thoughts are with you today.
George said…
My condolences on the death of your grandmother. We never really get over loses like this, we just get through it and they become part of our lives.
Bibliophile said…
Thank you both for the kind words.

Popular posts from this blog

Book 40: The Martian by Andy Weir, audiobook read by Wil Wheaton

Note : This will be a general scattershot discussion about my thoughts on the book and the movie, and not a cohesive review. When movies are based on books I am interested in reading but haven't yet read, I generally wait to read the book until I have seen the movie, but when a movie is made based on a book I have already read, I try to abstain from rereading the book until I have seen the movie. The reason is simple: I am one of those people who can be reduced to near-incoherent rage when a movie severely alters the perfectly good story line of a beloved book, changes the ending beyond recognition or adds unnecessarily to the story ( The Hobbit , anyone?) without any apparent reason. I don't mind omissions of unnecessary parts so much (I did not, for example, become enraged to find Tom Bombadil missing from The Lord of the Rings ), because one expects that - movies based on books would be TV-series long if they tried to include everything, so the material must be pared down

List love: 10 recommended stories with cross-dressing characters

This trope is almost as old as literature, what with Achilles, Hercules and Athena all cross-dressing in the Greek myths, Thor and Odin disguising themselves as women in the Norse myths, and Arjuna doing the same in the Mahabaratha. In modern times it is most common in romance novels, especially historicals in which a heroine often spends part of the book disguised as a boy, the hero sometimes falling for her while thinking she is a boy. Occasionally a hero will cross-dress, using a female disguise to avoid recognition or to gain access to someplace where he would never be able to go as a man. However, the trope isn’t just found in romances, as may be seen in the list below, in which I recommend stories with a variety of cross-dressing characters. Unfortunately I was only able to dredge up from the depths of my memory two book-length stories I had read in which men cross-dress, so this is mostly a list of women dressed as men. Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb. One of the interwove

First book of 2020: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach (reading notes)

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I loathe movie tie-in book covers because I feel they are (often) trying to tell me how I should see the characters in the book. The edition of Deborah Moggach's These Foolish Things that I read takes it one step further and changes the title of the book into the title of the film version as well as having photos of the ensemble cast on the cover. Fortunately it has been a long while since I watched the movie, so I couldn't even remember who played whom in the film, and I think it's perfectly understandable to try to cash in on the movie's success by rebranding the book. Even with a few years between watching the film and reading the book, I could see that the story had been altered, e.g. by having the Marigold Hotel's owner/manager be single and having a romance, instead being of unhappily married to an (understandably, I thought) shrewish wife. It also conflates Sonny, the wheeler dealer behind the retireme