Friday, March 25, 2016

Dear Grandma, Goodbye

Friday 3/25/16

Dear Grandma,

I have been trying to figure out how to write a tribute to you, but I can't seem to get it right.  How can I describe in words what you mean to me and to all of us?  I am sure going to miss writing to you and receiving your beautifully written, perfectly conversational letters.  I keep re-reading them and every time it feels like you're right beside me telling me the stories.  You had such a gift with words.

You would've loved your funeral, Grandma.  Mom and Aunt Kathy did a great job planning it.  The flowers were bright, cheery, and smelled like Spring.  There were lots of pinks and purples and they really brought out the rose gold of the casket your kids unanimously picked.  The pastor did a wonderful job, too.  I can see why you liked her so much at South Haven.  She has a beautiful singing voice and I could just picture you singing along to the words of "Amazing Grace."  She wrote an acrostic using the word CHEER to tell your story, and it was very honest, sweet, and fitting.  I wish I could remember what all of the letters stood for.  I know the C had a few words: creative, clever, and caregiver.  The H was for honesty.  One of the E's was energetic.  But I can't seem to recall the rest.  It was so hard to hang on to her words when I was so desperately trying to hang on to you.  There were stories to go along with most of them and every single one painted a perfect picture of the woman we all knew and loved. 

After that, she opened it up for anyone that wanted to share a memory, and although I wanted to share a bit of my favorite letter from you, I just couldn't pull it together long enough to do it.  I shared it with some of the family later that weekend at Kathy's house and we all agreed - it felt like having you right there beside us.  I especially loved the story that your honorary sister/best friend, Deanne, shared about coming to see you and being scared when you and Randy took off running out the front door and down the road.  When she caught up to you in her car and asked what was wrong, you simply replied, "Oh, nothing, I's just racing Randy."  What I wouldn't give to see that!

That day was so cold outside compared to what it had been the week or two before, and when we went to the cemetery, it even snowed.  I like to think that you were up there chatting away with Mother Nature and she let you "press the buttons" to see how it all worked.  But maybe that's just the little piece of your creativity and imagination left in me.  My Annalyn sure has some of that in her. You wouldn't believe the stories and songs that little girls makes up.  I'll have to make a note to remind Mom to teach her your infamous purple plums song.

Before we came back home, we stopped by your house one last time, since I'm assuming it will be sold by the time we come back again.  It's hard to imagine someone else living in it after all these years.  Everyone laughed when I told them I took a rock from the backyard, but I knew you'd approve.  I have no way of knowing, but I'd like to think it's one of the rocks you carried on your lap on the back of the motorcycle on your way back from one of your travels.  Either way, it's pretty, it's pink, and it was yours.  That makes it a treasure in my book!  Plus it reminds me of all the walks we took around Colon collecting all the prettiest purdiest rocks along the gravel roads.  I bet there are some beautiful roads for you and Grandpa to walk along up in Heaven.  I know how happy he must be to have you with him again. 

We will always miss you guys, but we rejoice knowing that God is always right beside you, and us, and that you are together again.  Nobody wanted to see you hurting and unable to breathe.  What a relief it must have been for you to take your last painful, labored breath here on Earth, and have it followed by your first deep, cleansing breath in Heaven.  I love you so much, Grandma, and I hope I can live to be someone you'll be proud to watch over everyday.

Love you forever and ever,


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