If I had a pen today, I would have sat beside you in the emerald grass, writing to you and leaving you a note. Heaven requires no postage, but the mail doesn't arrive either. Still, as you know I often find the urge I do, I would have written to you.
Instead, grief and longing overcame me to my very core and I fell, weeping like a heartbroken child, next to your beautiful name.
I have so many things I wanted to scribe, and I do not think I can sleep without doing so...
It has been a long 8 years since I said goodbye. The night you took your last breath, I sobbed inconsolably to the point of my own breathlessness. My husband wrapped his strong arms around me as I wept about how I did not know how I could possibly live the rest of my life without you. I took some comfort in his newlywed promise that it would be okay because he would be here as long as he lived, taking over your role as my confidante.
It's during this season of life, where he has abandoned that promise and left his family without a trace that I really long to talk to you again. I have, of course, longed to do so since you left, but the urge is so strong now. I have been holding myself together for the most part, I think, but today, the floodgates opened and the reservoirs of tears flowed freely.
This weekend was another one of the family gatherings I decided years ago we needed to get back into the habit of having, in your honor and memory. I spent my entire childhood growing up with such gatherings, and after you left, we needed to carry on. Everyone agreed and it's now a common occurrence and the times are filled with one of your favorite sounds- laughter. Just today even, I had tears of laughter flowing as my mom recalled to some of the cousins and aunts times in my childhood when my usual calm demeanor disappeared to reveal a feisty girl. You would be so proud, your son and I decided, that these gatherings continue today, often more than once a year.
The day was, overall, filled with joy, but as my rollercoaster continues, moments of sorrow. I felt your absense more than ever this year it seemed, but at the same time, it was obvious to me you were with us somehow. I mean, I look at my gorgeous daughter and her face is so familiar that she reminds me of you constantly.
Today, out of nowhere, my nearly five year old told my mom she lost her mom, you. It was a shocking statement, to say the least. But what followed next shattered my mommy heart as he told us that his dad was also lost.
In many ways, it's completely, devastatingly accurate. While his dad lives somewhere, my son has absolutely no idea where or why he's gone, other than he's making bad choices. While he's not dead, the dad he knew, in a way, is. I longed for your comfort for him at that moment as tears trickled down my cheeks. All I could say was, "he is, Spencer, and I'm sorry."
As we hugged everyone and said our goodbyes, I knew I couldn't come home without visiting you first. My babies all fell asleep before I got to your resting place, which was a blessing as I wept so fiercely it would have likely caused them distress.
I laid there in the grass, sun setting behind us, wondering what you would say to me about my life now. You loved my husband too, and were so excited for us. Then there was this huge, surprising shift, and he is altogether gone. Would you be angry at me for choosing to give him chances? Would you think I was stupid for believing in him? Would you be disappointed that I allowed him to break my heart and the hearts of my children? I know that I feel that way more than I care to admit, but my memory of you and our life together leads me to believe you would tell me I am being a bit hard on myself.
So, instead, would you be proud? Would you smile at the fact that I stood up for us, and that I'm trying to mend these broken dreams and start a new life? Would you see me as a success? Am I too weak? Am I strong? Am I crazy for believing in love and finding it impossible to truly hate?
What advice would you give me? How would you pray?
I could use your hug and your smile and your tissues.
One thing I know, though, is that you've had a lasting impact on me, in ways I still discover. Just this week, I realized ways that you have shaped who I am in times like these, and I thank God for your influence on my life. I know all happens for a reason and you aren't really gone "too soon," but it feels like it on these kind of days.
Thank you, Grandma, for accepting my tears once again.
I love you. Until next time,