Sep 1, 2011

Dear Grandma, I Miss You

Dear Grandma,

I miss you already. Time is moving slowly, more slowly than following you up the stairs. What has only been a few hours feels like an ever long moment of tears and emptiness. Your house is empty, your kitchen empty, and your tabernacle empty. The lights are on, the blinds pulled open on a sunny day, and still there seems to never be enough light without you sitting in your spot on the couch. We have spent most of this day trying to fill that emptiness with the memories. We laugh a lot, but with time often revert back to tears and quiet. I suppose both are comforting and both are necessary during this bittersweet time, but still I don't want to be missing you. Not yet. Our family gathers to talk of better, sunnier days. We also remember the hard days, but try not to dwell there because this is one of those hard days. Yet I think the slow passing time is also a gift. We have time to mourn, time to miss, and time to mourn all the goodbyes we missed.

I miss the smile you always shared, and your hugs. Your warmth and greeting were always a wonderful part of our weekly visits. Hugs were never careful between us, but tight, sincere, and true. Your hugs always meant something; they were heavy. Your smile and hugs told me I was valuable, invaluable even. That I had a place, a place always reserved in your arms, surrounded by a thoughtful love. I remember many times finding hideouts in your house. My very first place was in your bedroom between the bed and the wall. You had a red striped comforter and blue pillows with little white triangles pattered across the cover. I took your pillows and took many naps, read many books, and spent a lot of thinking time in that safe place. You would sometimes find me there, your smile saying my secret place was safe. When I would emerge I could always fall into my other secret safe place, finding respite in your smile and heavy hugs.

I miss watching your hands. You probably never noticed how often I sat beside you and watched your fingers move. Your hands were busy hands. You had old hands that wore a very pretty wedding ring and thick blue veins. Your hands were clean hands. Your hands were sure hands. Your pinkies were my pinkies. I watched you tend to the roses and sometimes I watched your hands bleed from the thorns. I know you loved your lilies of the valley, but I think you loved those tough roses a little more. Maybe because they made you bleed, but still bloomed beautifully. With your hands you also cooked desserts, knit afghans, played cards, read novels, and wrote cards. With one hand you patted my knee often. I loved those pats, those gentle reminders of love. Today I see some of your hands in my hands. Did you know I am getting dark spots on my hands, just like yours? Did you know we also share dark blue veins? Well I have noticed, and I don't mind too much. I want my hands to be like your busy, clean hands that work with love and sometimes bleed.

I miss your silver rimmed grandma glasses, but mostly I miss what was behind your glasses. Your kindly eyes did a lot of watching through the years. You watched over your family, always. This is something I knew about you very early and something that made me feel welcome and protected. I remember during elementary school you would watch us make a mess of your house and math homework. During junior high you would watch us make a mess of musical instruments and choir concerts. During high school you would watch us make a mess of more concerts, more sports, and more projects. I suppose families are always a bit messy, but you would watch and clean up where you could. I'm glad you were there to watch me make good decisions and support me. Your eyes showed me that you were so proud of me. Your glasses could never show me that, but I still miss your glasses. They made it easier for me to see your watchful, proud eyes.

Dear Grandma I miss you already and you have not even been gone a full day. Many routines will change and many things might be lost with time because you are no longer here with us. The prospect makes my chest feel tight sometimes. Things of this world will fade as time passes, even when it passes slowly. Just know these things that I miss; your smile, your hands your eyes, they are mine forever. Your love and service have always been a great example to me. I will probably dig up one of your rose bushes to take to my house. That way  I can keep a vibrant reminder of your love and service. Every time a thorn makes me bleed or a rose blooms I will see your smile, your hands, your eyes.

I love you still and always,
Your Granddaughter London

P.S. When you send my baby boy down, send him with your love because I will be dearly missing it.

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