Friday, January 15, 2010

Margaret Isobel Myles Thomson

My husband hates it when I use quotes, but since this is my blog, I'm going to use one anyway, even though this entry is about his grandmother. Henry Drummond once said that to "love abundantly is to live abundantly and that to love forever is to live forever." I can think of no greater way to epitomize Isobel's life than by that quote. I never met a woman who loved or lived more abundantly than she did.
Isobel, as she preferred to be called, is my husband's Grandmother. She passed on into the next life this last Sunday. It's something that we had been expecting for some time, she was after all 92 and no one, not even one as vivacious as she was, can live forever.
I will never forget the first time I truly met her. It was a car ride that changed my life. Robert and I had been seeing each other for a while. I knew that I loved him with all my heart but I didn't know if we had a future. His grandmother showed up at his house one day, unexpectedly and needed a ride home. She asked him if I would drive her. I was so horribly nervous because I knew what a very important person that Isobel was in Robbie's life and I wanted to make a good impression.
She was lively and charming with a smile that was absolutely infectious. She had such a way about her, but underneath it all, even in her tiny frame, you could sense the steel underneath. Anyone that had lived through all she had must be tough.
At any rate, I can remember she asked me whether a bedroom suite was a suit of furniture or a suite. I knew that much of my future rested on getting the answer right. I explained that like herself, my grandmother had been very proper and while it is spelled suite, a set of furniture is actually a suit. She smiled delightedly and from that moment, we got along famously. I will never forget the privilege of basking in the smile and realizing something I had done had somehow elicited something so miraculous.
Yes, Isobel's smile was miraculous, like basking in the warmth of the sun. She loved like that too. She was a very passionate person and she loved completely, whole heartedly and forever. There was no halfway with her. The love she shared with her husband of 44 years continues to be an inspiration to all who knew them. Whenever I find myself questioning whether true love exists or not, I think of Isobel and Addison and my answer is always yes.
When Robert and I had a child of our own, Kaylee and I would spend Wednesday afternoons having tea with Addison and Isobel. These are times that I will treasure forever. She liked her tea just so, and he was usually watching Hogan's Heroes reruns. I remember all the stories that they told me, his about the war and hers about her experiences growing up in Scotland, coming to America, working in London during the war - even meeting Errol Flynn. They are all engraved on my heart and in my mind. Isobel was one of the most intriguing and truly beautiful people that I have ever met.
I feel so blessed that Isobel was part of my life - even if for a short time- and I feel honored to call her family. I will forever be grateful for all that she did in creating the man that I love. I see much of her in him. Her generosity, her charm, that miraculous smile ( when he chooses to use it) all of that comes from her. His love of music and piano - again a gift from his Grandmother. The way he questions authority and looks for the answer... there is so much of her in him and I hope he always knows that.
So today, for all who will miss not seeing Isobel's smile, I remind you ( and myself) that those we love never truly die, and that only love lives forever.