She was my maternal grandmother, but she was so much more. For over four score and eight years, she brightened the lives of everyone fortunate enough to know her. Yesterday, my sister's father commented, "They don't make 'em like that any more. They broke the mold when they made Dorothy." He was absolutely right.
Dorothy lived a full and amazing life, the kind I might dream of living. She was always a force, a viable presence wherever she was. I could go on about her accomplishments, her physical legacy, but I think I would be missing much of what is of the essence here.
Dorothy was a force because of the way she affected the people who where fortunate to love her, know her and to be loved by her. No one could every deny her ferocity, her bark, and her insistence on control, but in essence, she was the embodiment of love.
When I went to sit by her bedside yesterday to say goodbye, there was evidence everywhere of just how much Dorothy is, and was loved. All of her close, local family took turns huddled in her room to speak to her as she drifted away. We stroked her hands and forehead, they were so soft. Even in her advanced eighties, grandma had beautiful skin-- so smooth and nearly unwrinkled. Even while struggling to breathe, lying in bed, she was beautiful. She was always beautiful to me.
Family and friends called and we held the phone to her ear, even as she slept. We could tell she heard their words because her face and body reacted in the embrace of their loving words. She smiled when my little (ok, younger) brother called. As I looked around at the faces of Dortothy's loved ones, I could only think, "should we all be this lucky to find and know so much love in our lives. Dorothy was love.