Friday, June 5, 2009

I Am Missing You Today

Last fall, I wrote this letter to my Grandmother, "Grammy", who passed away suddenly from conjestive heart failure on June 9, 2000. She was full of life, healthy and could work circles around me most days. She had started to suffer from arthritis a few years before she passed away, and had had a pacemaker put in a couple years prior as well. Other than that, she was in perfect health. I had moved closer to her about a year before she died, to help take care of/keep an eye on she and my Paw Paw. He was in failing health, and we had had a few scares with him before. We always thought he would go first.

The day my Grammy passed away was a Friday. We had a tradition that the 3 of us would go out to dinner somewhere each Friday night, and my Grammy and I would come home and watch Providence...we loved that show! Then on Saturday morning, I would go back to their house and set her hair and do any little chores that she wasn't able to do or pick weeds...etc... That day, she had watered the garden and weeded, made homemade applesauce, and because I was out with my friends that night (very unusual), they had gone out with my uncle for dinner. Not the typical day for someone who won't be around the for the next one. I am sharing this letter as a tribute to Grammy, but also as a means of therapy in a way...

"I am missing you today. I think about you lots and always smile at the fond memories and wonderful times we shared. Today is different. I can’t seem to find a smile, only tears. You were my rock, my world, my stability, my comfort. You were home to me. Through so much turmoil in my life, you always seemed to have the right thing to say, always the truth, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the time. I have come to appreciate that so much, especially since you aren’t here to give me your sage advice anymore.

When I lost you, my world came crashing down around me. The suddenness of it all took me out at the knees. I had thought about it before, knowing that one day, you wouldn’t be here. I had even taken the opportunity a time or two to tell you and Paw Paw that each day of my life was better because you were in it. You would say “Oh stop”, not feeling very comfortable talking about emotions. I never knew why that was, but I kept telling you how much I loved you, giving you hugs and kisses, until you finally just accepted it, and started giving them back. I always knew that you loved me, more than anything. I just never understood why you didn’t say it. I realized later in life that you would rather show it by living it, because words can be so empty.

A big part of me died when you did. I will never fully heal, I’m just trying to honor you by living with a fraction of the grace and dignity that you did. You were a lady in every sense of the word. Charming and charismatic, a true friend to all you knew. You were fair, compassionate and generous, always doing for someone else.

I would like to have just one more Friday night with you and Paw Paw. I want to go out for dinner and then come back home to watch Providence. I want one more Saturday morning to fix your hair and then do some little chores around your house. I want one more Thanksgiving dinner around your table, I would watch closely from start to finish as you made your famous dressing. I wish you could meet my kids, they are great and I know you would be so proud. I want them to hunt Easter eggs in your yard and drive around it in the golf carts. I just want one more conversation with you, to talk about nothing and everything, just to hear your voice.

I am so proud to have your name, Kathleen, and I proudly passed it on to Nalley. I hope that the choices I am making now and the life that I am living would make you proud too. Thank you for all that you have given me, Grammy.

Some of my favorite memories are with you, I remember the shopping trips that you and I would go on. I loved spending the weekend with you, because you always bought me something that made me feel special. Those times were fun, but the most special and important thing you ever gave me was your time, your love and your wisdom. The lessons I learned from you I will treasure always and I will teach them to my children as well. I am richly blessed because of you."

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