Monday, July 18, 2016

16 days...

16 days...that is how long it has been since I saw her smile, gave her a kiss and told her I'd see her soon. 16 might as well be 16,000. It feels like so long, and yet I know it isn't. I never would have dreamed that would be the last time I would see her and talk to her. 11 days...that is how long it has been since I got the call, the one I replay in my mind, still hoping and praying it was a bad dream, and yet I know it wasn't. 11 days later and I'm still processing, still wondering how life goes on without her. I only saw her about once a week and I didn't call her even close to as much as I should have, but I always knew she'd be there with a kind word and a smile when I needed her. She was such a staple in my life, it just doesn't even make sense to me that she is no longer physically here.
She was the sweetest lady, and she loved so fiercely. She had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the room. I am one of her 20 grandchildren, and lord knows there was room enough in her heart for all of us, she loved us all so very much and it was evident in everything that she did.
I told mom when we were talking about grandma moving into assisted living (which she wasn't entirely happy about) that I didn't care where grandma lived, I just wanted her to be here...I wasn't ready for her to be gone and neither were my kids. Less than 2 weeks later, she was gone...let me tell you, I wasn't any more ready.
I realize I'm luckier than most (even the majority of my cousins), she got to see me graduate high school and college, attended my wedding and was there to meet my children days after they were born. My children have been blessed with the time and ability to develop a loving and everlasting relationship with her, but it isn't enough. I wanted more time. More time to chat and laugh and shop and tell her I love her. I know that is selfish, because she had been in pain and missed Grandpa so much, but the world down here isn't as bright without her in it.
I'm so afraid of forgetting the sound of her voice and her laugh, afraid that the memories will fade, afraid of the day when it won't hurt as much, because I don't want to get used to life without her, even though I know I have to.
If I had one last chance to talk to her...I would say this...
Thank you! Thank you for showing me what love is, that marriage is hard work but can be as fun in the 50th year as it is in the 1st. That whether you have 1 child or 8 and 1 grandchild or 20 that there is always room in your heart for them all. That you don't have to be born into a family to be a part of the family...that there is always enough love. Thank you for teaching me compassion and understanding, but also to stand up for myself. Thank you for loving me. You are my role model in so many ways, there really are not enough words to say how much you mean to me and how deeply you will be missed.  I only hope that I can be half the mom, sister, friend, and someday grandma and great-grandma you have been. You have some big shoes to fill, but I will spend my life trying to make you proud.
I will miss you all the days of my life. Until we meet again one day, rest in peace in the loving arms of the man you have long been missing. (Give him a hug for me while you're at it!) I will love you forever.

No comments: