She was old. Very old. She'd lived a very long, happy, productive life. I'm amazed at everything she was able to do. Be a missionary. Work when it wasn't really cool for women to work. Live through the death of her child. Inspire. Create. Love the same man for sixty-six years and not stab him in the face, ever. Honestly, I don't think I ever, ever heard her say an unkind word about anyone. Except Republicans.
She was amazing.
My grandmother wrote every day for many, many years. As long as I can remember, for sure, she would write in her little journals. Simple things sometimes. She'd write about the weather. What she was feeling. Some special thing that a grandchild had done.
In every day there was an event to celebrate. Even if it was something like, "The blackberry bushes are blooming today" or "The pecan pie turned out beautifully".
She celebrated every day of her life.
I didn't deal with my grandmother's death at first. I thanked God her suffering was over. I sat through the wake, hugging all the people who I hadn't seen in years. Dealing with the drama of the family. Trying to help my own mom.
During the funeral they started talking about my grandfather and then the tears flowed. My grandpa died in 1994. I miss him still. He never met my children or my husband. He never got to see me make anything of myself. He really loved me. I never doubted it.
The tears haven't seemed to stop. Not since the funeral.
I don't cry all the time, but I feel so profoundly sad. It's like an ache in my soul that I just can't explain. I feel so lonely here and I feel like I've done this to myself. There are people here who are reaching out to me and I'm so afraid to reach for that lifeboat. I can't even explain why.
I went and got cards. I sent cards to my aunts...my dad's sisters who weren't even related to my grandma but still came to the funeral. For my dad's mother, who is a sweet soul that I don't even know very well but want to know. For my mom's mother. She lost her mother. For my husband's grandmother. I hated to see her cry.
For all these people who I don't really know all that well.
My grandma always sent cards, for every occasion. Sometimes for no occasion at all. Just because. Just because she was thinking about you.
I want to be like her.
She's the furthest one on the right. She's so beautiful.
My grandmother is the little girl. I see my daughter in her face.
Sometimes I feel like my grandmother is looking down on me. Encouraging me not to give up. Telling me she's proud of me. That if she had lived long enough to see the book published, it would be on her coffee table. That she knew there was something in me...something special. That I just had to find out what it was.
I have to find out what it is. I have to believe that it's something.