Sunday, February 26, 2006

Dear Grandma

You've been gone for 6 months. I'm starting to think you really won't be coming back. How is that possible? Even after all this time, I can't get my mind around it.

You would have loved this winter, Grandma, mainly because we never really had one. You would have had no problem whatsoever driving around, it's been warm and very little snow. I wish you'd have been here to see it.

Did you know you missed the Winter Olympics? That was always your favorite. You would have loved Sasha Cohen, and laughed at the princessy beauty of Johnny Weir's skating. You would have wished Apolo Anton Ohno would shave his face, and you'd have said Bode Miller needed to grow up.

For the first time you didn't take the kids clothes shopping right before school started. You would be so proud of Brittany for getting such good grades and for being on the school debate team. She is taller than me now, Grandma!

The girls had their birthdays in October, of course. We had a family party, but it wasn't the same without you. Britt had 3 of her friends spend the night, you would have laughed at the idea of 4 teenage girls in Britt's little bedroom! Lilly loved her birthday so much. She misses you, Grandma. She likes to talk about you being "up with the angels" and sometimes will holler out "Hi, Grandma! I love you!!" She's always sure you heard her. I am, too.

You missed Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we missed you so much. Remember Thanksgiving '04 when we had you over and the food was SO great and we all had such a good time? This year Larry had to work, so we didn't do our big dinner until the Sunday after. Maybe it would have been different if you'd have been here.

Christmas without you was strange. We did all our usual family traditions, but not going to your house on Christmas eve and then again on Christmas day just felt wrong. We would have sat around and talked about books and current events, and watched the kids playing with their new toys. I drank a spiked eggnog with extra nutmeg in your honor, Grandma.

Barrett had his birthday, too. Again, we had a family party, but I think we all felt your absence. Barrett probably misses you more than any of the kids. He still asks me why you died, and wishes he'd have had one more time to say goodbye.

I read some great books that you would have loved. I started going to the library now that you and I aren't sharing books anymore. Lilly got her own library card, too, and we go there a couple times a week. I wonder why you never went to the library? I wish I would have asked you.

Guess what? I've had some of my scrapbook pages and cards published online and in magazines! You would have loved that, seeing your great-grandkids' pictures in magazines. I think you'd have been really proud of me.

You'll never believe this, but Cable and my mom are talking again! She even went to visit him in Portland. Did you know he moved? Did you know he is growing out his hair, and Benny is still hanging on and being spoiled as ever?

Annie's going to college! Oh, you would have been so happy about that. She's doing a 2 year Graphic Design program, and loving it. The money you left her will help her not have to work as much while she goes to school. She has a new boyfriend, you would have been happy about that too. Annie turned 26 in January, can you believe it??

Here's something else that would have made you laugh and shake your head...we got another guinea pig! You always thought we were crazy for having so many animals, and I know you hate anything of the rodent variety, but he really is cute.

Larry's dad has the same kind of cancer you had. It's really sad to see him and June going through it all now, after we just did it all with you last summer.

Do remember when I came to say goodbye? Did you hear me say I love you, and I'll miss you, and thank you? I think you did. I heard you whisper I love you and Goodbye.

I saw Dick Locke at your funeral. He was so sad, hadn't even known you were sick. Your old boss from the Tribune, Jay, came too. When he introduced himself to me the first thing I thought was "I have to tell Grandma that Jay came!". Then I realized, maybe for the first time, that I wasn't going to be telling you anything ever again. At least not in the same way. But Grandma, I miss you so much, I talk to you every day. Maybe you hear me, sometimes. It's hard to imagine that I have a whole lifetime of experiences ahead of me that I won't share with you.

But in a lot of ways, you are still here with us. I have your picture on the wall, and your things are all over the house. We use your big old pyrex bowls in the kitchen, and I wear one of your bathrobes. Brittany wears another one. Why DID you have so many bathrobes, anyway? I have your grandma's little rocking chair, Britt has it in her room. It is from her great-great-great-grandma. Pretty special, huh? I have your china cabinet and it's full of little knick knacks and china things that you had gotten from your grandma. Looking at it reminds me of you, and I walk past it many many times each day.

I guess I'm realizing, even though we'll never see or hug you again, we'll also never lose you, not really. You are a part of me and I see you in my children. You helped make me the person that I am, and I hope I did a good job of easing your passage out of this life. I love you, Grandma. More than anything I wish I'd have said that to you more. I love you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, days like this are HARD... hugs to you, your grandma sounds like she was a wonderful woman and passed down a lot of wonderful memories for you to cherish.


February 27, 2006 11:48 AM  

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