RIP Madelyn Payne Dunham

Senator Barack Obama’s maternal grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, died today at age 86.

“She’s gone home,” Obama said as tens of thousands of rowdy supporters at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte grew silent in an evening drizzle.

“And she died peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. And so there is great joy as well as tears. I’m not going to talk about it too long because it is hard for me to talk about.”

The woman Obama has credited for who he is today, had been suffering declining health following a fall last month. A week ago, Obama had suspended his campaign for two days to make an emergency trip to be by her side. She came so close to seeing her grandson become the next president of the United States.

It will be a bitter-sweet victory for Obama tomorrow.