In Memory of my Grandma

     It’s always tough for me to find the words on days like this. That’s probably why this will be one of the shorter blog entries that I write. Days like this one remind a person of what’s truly important in life. Days like this remind you to always give loved ones hugs before you leave them. Days like this remind you to live each day as if it’s your last. Today, November 14, 2010, is “one of those days.”

   My Grandma, or Nana as we called her, was a truly special woman. She had many quirks, funny sayings, and incredible stories. Stories from Nana’s childhood would have me on the edge of my seat for hours. Really, any story she told would do that. She had a certain “way with words.” For example, she always would say, “It happened that way going west.” We were never really sure what that meant, or who was going west, or even what happened. We did know, however, that Nana said it. So, it must mean something. She was the overcautious type, just like my Mom. She loved yard sales, flea markets, and family holidays. My fondest memories of her are when we would all get together as a family and head up north to the mountains of North Georgia. We would spend wonderful weekends together. Parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, & grandparents. We would talk, laugh, play games, hike, fish, whatever we decided to do. My Nana LIVED for those weekends. It was always right now, during the beginning of November, that our trips would take place. So, today, as I see the leaves changing, I think of her. Above all else though, my Grandma was a baseball fan. She LOVED her Braves. Chipper, Andruw,  McCann, Smoltz, Maddux, the list goes on. She never missed a game on TV. Once I became a professional baseball player, she grew to be even more of a fan, and loved hearing stories of my seasons, spring trainings, and off-seasons. Throughout the season, I send my family and close friends e-mail updates. I tell them what’s going on, where I am, how things are progressing with my career, etc. My Grandma loved those emails. She would call me once she received them to talk things over with me. She wanted the inside scoop on everything I was doing. She was my biggest fan for baseball and writing. 
     Many of you follow me on either Facebook or Twitter. Some of you are friends of mine on both. If you’ve been listening the last few weeks, you know that my Grandma’s health has been declining. We all knew it was coming, and today, I finally got word that she had passed. I saw her last on Tuesday afternoon. She could still recall who I was, who my wife was, and that we were there to see her and visit. She always got brighter when we’d visit. We would talk about baseball, the weather, whatever she wanted. I tried to cherish those times, knowing that they’d soon be no more. Once the realization that my Nana had passed sunk in, thousands of memories started flying through my head. Times that we spent at Vacation Bible School, times that we spent hanging out at her house, times that we spent in the mountains. I could go on and on. The fondest memories I have of her, though, are the ones we spent talking on the phone. Times that I was halfway across the country trying to live my dream. Times that I couldn’t see her, but I could talk to her. Times when she would tell me what a great writer I was, how proud of me she was for making it to the minor leagues, how all she wanted was for me to be a Braves pitcher. My Nana was always there for me. I’m going to miss her deeply, and I know that she’ll be looking down on all of us as we move forward in life.
     I wanted to write this quick blog post in memory of my Nana. I won’t be emailing this one out to her today, but I know that she’ll be reading it. I know that she’ll be looking down on me as I move forward in my career. I know that she’ll be telling all her friends and relatives in Heaven that “her grandson is a pro baseball player” and she’ll tell them how proud of me she is. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me in baseball. Whatever comes next, I know that Nana will be proud of me, and will be excited to hear all about it. RIP Nana.
Michael Schlact

8 Comments

Michael,
So sorry to hear about your grandma. I saw your posts on Twitter and thought I’d wait until I could make a longer comment than 140 charicters.
The first thing that popped into my head when I read this was, “He’ll be pitching for the Braves soon.” Your Grandmother will have something to do with it somehow. She couldn’t while she was here, but now she has “ways”. She’ll be watching over you, and now she can be at every game you pitch, no matter where it is. Know that you made her unbelievably proud, just by being you. I obviously didn’t know her, but I’m sure that as soon as she got to Heaven her first words were, ” Glad to be here. Michael Schlact is my grandson, and you’ll all know his name one day…” That will be either because of her or because you’re going to be amazing.

To Grandma Schlact: “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”

~ Kiley Dix
catch108stchs (Twitter)

Grandmas always seem to be our biggest fans. I think mine was the only person in my life to actually believe in me. After she was gone it took me a long time to deal with the fact that I wasn’t going to see her anymore until I finally came to the understanding that now she’s always going to be around. Your grandmother may be gone physically, but now, if you think about it–in a weird way, she’s closer than ever. She’ll be cheering for you from “up there” knowing that you are capable of anything.

I know it may not mean anything coming from me, but having lost my grandmother as well, I just thought I should say something.

Hey my friend

My deepest condolences on your loss, Sounds like your Grandmother was a very special lady. I’m sure like you said she’s up there giving all who will listen the scoop on her grandson. I never knew either of my grandmothers so it makes me very happy to know you and yours were so close.

Gary

Michael,
I am so sorry for the loss of you Grandmother. I know exactly how you feel, as I recently lost my Grandfather August 6. It was one of the hardest days of my life. One thing that gave me comfort is knowing that he was no longer suffering and that he was now home. He is now whole once again, and is able to do the things he once could, before cancer grabbed hold of him. He was diagnosed with lung cancer over 5 years ago. He went trough Chemo and Radiation. The treatment forever changed the man I knew. He was alive, and was in remission, but was not able to do the things he was once able to do. Until last Christmas things were going well, then things started to go down-hill. Christmas he was extremely ill, and was put in the hospital right after the holidays. Through out there year, his health continued to decline, and he once told me “Heather, I will not be here Christmas”. I told him not to be talking like that, but I should have known. My Husband and I moved back from Florida after only a year, just to be near him and spend as much time as we could together. Needless to say, he was over joyed that I was back home once again, he was always worrying over me, even though I’m grown now. But I am the only grandchild, that has lived near him, just about my whole 26 years. Summer, we spent a lot of time at their beach house. He loved it there. He was able to get out and walk some, which thrilled me to no end. We went to the beach for the 4th of July. The best part was that one afternoon, just Him and I went fishing together. It was so much fun. We just sat and talked like old times. It was the last time, I would get to do something with him. After coming home from the beach, he was readmitted to the hospital, where his health went down and their was nothing they could do to stop it. The Doctor said “I am out of Miracles”. I watched him for 2 weeks in the hospital suffer, and it hurt me so much to see him like that. The day we brought him home from the hospital, he was barely conscious, and could not walk without help. The family thought that the cancer had come back, and that it was a brain tumor this time. That night, my Husband stayed with my Grandmother, in case she needed any help (He is a paramedic). That night before I went to sleep, I prayed that God would just take him home, don’t like it be cancer that took him. My husband called about 3 a.m. , my Grandfather was gone. The hardest part was waking My Mother to tell her the news. The time passed by so quickly, I was trying to be strong for my family. But we got through, with the peace that he was now Himself again, and was no longer in pain. He was home! When the report came back, it was his heart. It just stopped, not cancer! Be strong Michael, and I hope it gives you peace just as it did me, to know that your Grandmother is well again, and home. One day we will reunite with them in the Kingdom of Heaven, and what a glorious day that will be! Praying for you and your family everyday.

~*Heather*~ Twitter Name: CatchMeIn2010

Very sorry for the loss :( I know it’s tough to lose such an important person in your life but I truly believe that she is in a better place. I think she will always be with you and will be proud of you no matter what happens. My condolences and prayers to your family. May she rest in peace :)

Hang in there! The sun continues to shine :)

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

@Youngmioiolio (twitter)

I had a grandmother like yours and can say your memories will only get better as time goes by. I lost my grandmother 50 years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and all the fond memories just get better each day!

This was a beautiful way to remember your Nana! It’s funny that we remember the small things about the people we love the most. It’s what ties us to them and makes them different from everyone else. Just a simple phrase or a silly joke is what makes a random moment “our moment”.

It’s wonderful that you were able to have such a special relationship with her.

The way you live your life makes her proud I’m sure.

In every gift of love that’s given we usually receive it back ten fold.

How precious…you are a kind sweet soul…made me cry reading this it reminds me of my 18yo son and his 76 yo grammy who are best friends and lifelong baseball fans..she is his biggest fan :-)). Im sure she is so very proud of what a wonderful young man you are :-)) all the best to you on your career..god bless.

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