Sunday, December 26, 2010

End of an Era

I've gotten to the point in my expat life that I can not be in one place without missing the ways and people of the other. My little cross to bear in a pretty damn good life.

This year was a little different. The joy of being home with my family wasn't quite enough to cover the loss  that occurred back home in Rio de Janeiro.

The Great Grandmother, who I wrote about here, lost her battle with life.  Maybe, it was more like life lost it's battle with her.  Regardless, she lived this life with flair and a wisdom of a woman experienced with many things none of us young folk could understand.  I hope that when I go, I will have managed half the life she did.

Anyway, we lost her last week and my poor husband didn't get to go to her funeral.  We skyped his parents on Christmas eve.  The celebrating in my parents house was loud but the lack of celebrating in theirs was louder.

I wish he could have been there, that all of could have come and been a support.  At the same time, I am glad my children had a Christmas of joy and that Mr. Rant's family didn't have to put a fake smile on for the kids.  Because, let's be honest, the first Christmas after is... well, it's just that.  The first Christmas after.

This goes 100 x more in this case, as the Great Grandmother was the Godfather of the family. She ruled Christmas like Queen Elizabeth does Prince Charles. Every year we celebrated the sacred Christmas Eve night at her place.

Not this Christmas, and I doubt think we will again. After years and years of that tradition, I'm guessing thing will now shift.  At the very least, we will all be together and we'll do what families do best, create new ones.

But one thing will never change:

We MISS you Vovo Nice! We will always miss you!


  1. Is she on the first photo ? Well, it was a well lived life. Can you believe I thought about the post you linked here ? I mean, I thought yesterday morning about how she was doing - and that you had never blogged about her again.

  2. Ohhhh! I started to cry as I began to understand your post.

    With the 24 hour burrial tradition here it is next to impossible to get her for the funeral.

    Hugs to all.

    Hold tight to each other next year when traditions will wrench into new forms.

    So sorry to hear of your loss.

  3. Oh Rachel,

    I am so sorry for your loss!
    Um forte abraco pra voces!
    Meus pesames.


  4. It is her in the photo. It was taken at my In-law's house last summer...

    Thanks for all the love!

  5. What a beautiful photo. Sorry for your loss. :(

  6. My vovo died last winter in Mineas. Everything has changed a lot. Best wishes to you and Mr. rant!

  7. Sorry for your family's loss... although in reality I'm more happy for your gain (to have met her, been accepted by her and have learned from her), sounds like she was a true gift from life!

  8. I do love that I got to know her. I especially love that my kids did! I am so glad we spent so much time with her.

  9. Awww, Rachel, I'm sorry for your loss. And what a beautiful, touching tribute/gift you gave to here with your sweet eulogy here on your blog. Viva strong women!

  10. Rachel and Daniel, we're really really sorry for your loss! The same happened to us last june, when Marcus' cherished grandfather died while we were in Disneyworld. Imagine the paradox, you're mourning in happyland. It was truly horrible and he will never forgive himself for going instead of staying with his family. But I too was happy that Isabela didn't take on all the weight. The first couple of times she went to their place she asked about him and we were able to say grandad is in heaven and she'll see him again very soon. It felt natural for her, no big traumas, and we do believe she will see him again in due time. It hurts though to think Eduardo will never meet him, at least in this life. The silence is deafing, I know. Sorry again, guys.

  11. Ohhh Sad... loved the stories about her!