Oliver Willis

Pearl Lowe, My Grandma, 1926-2013

It’s hard for me to understand, emotionally, that my grandmother is gone. I understand it intellectually. She was 87, her body was failing, and was in home hospice care.

But emotionally, I can’t comprehend that she’s gone. My grandmother has been a constant presence in my life since almost the day I was born.

It will take a long time for me to get used to it, if ever. I still haven’t gotten adjusted to the loss of my grandfather two years ago. My family’s gone a long time without losing anyone, and then to lose these two important people and our beloved dog

One of my earliest memories is of my Grandma putting me inside her long winter coat, protecting me from the elements when I was probably just a toddler or older. When I got older I joked with her that I was now the one who could put her inside my coat.

My relationship with my Grandma wasn’t just one of those “see you at Christmas” grandparent-grandchild relationships. We were very close.

VIDEO: Grandma blows out the candles at her 87th birthday, her last

For a time, my Grandma lived with my mom and I when I was in high school. When other kids were getting Pop Tarts and other frozen treats for breakfast, my Grandma was cooking me an entire meal. Every morning I used to sit on the side of my bed, and I took a whiff. It was the game of “what did Grandma cook for breakfast this morning?” I even used to tease some of my friends about it, stoking the fires of envy. My Grandma spoiled me rotten, she knew it, and didn’t care because she loved her “Ollie.”

I used to sit and watch the news with Grandma, and we would discuss the events of the day. Even as she got older and slowed down, I used to discuss the news with her and her mind was still sharp.

My Grandma was quiet and reserved, but she had a great loud laugh and I used to delight in goofing off for her. She always called me “the clown” as she laughed at my antics.

Sometimes we would just sit and watch tv, quietly (Side note: for some reason my Grandma liked the cartoon Bobby’s World. I bought her a VHS tape of it once as a gift.)  As we did this I’d sit on the floor in front of her and she would rub my head and I have to tell you it is one of the things I’ll miss the most in my life.

Grandma, I love you and I’ll miss you.

Pearl Lowe is survived by her three daughters, Lorna, Paulette, and Angela, her three grandchildren, Ladawn, Oliver, and Akil, and her four great-grandchildren Lashawn, Jovan, Jordan and Esiyah.