Right here

Dear Grandma,

How unbelievable it is that you’ve been gone for 5 years now. I know I’ve said this every year, and I’ll continue to do so until the end of time, but it still seems like it was just yesterday when our hearts were broken as you left this world all too soon.

 

A little less than a year ago, I had the most vivid dream about you. Mind you, it wasn’t the first, but I was at some kind of public place – I don’t remember if it was a mall or an amusement park – and I was searching everywhere for you. I was starting to panic when suddenly, you appeared wearing the same pink dress you were wearing when Kyle and I got married. You simply hugged me and said, “I’m right here.” I woke up after that I honestly haven’t had a dream about you since. I don’t know if that dream was some kind of closure, but I felt a great deal of peace afterwards.

Just because I don’t dream about you anymore doesn’t mean I don’t think about you. I’ll never forget all the wonderful life experiences I was able to have with you (and Grandpa) and every so often something obscure will bring back a flood of memories. A blue lupine flower. Whiskey jacks. Nachos. Palm trees.

The moments come and go, sometimes with a smile and others with a tear, but I cherish every single one of them regardless of how much it hurts sometimes. It makes me remember how important it is to make those memories regardless of how simple or routine the occasion may be. 

I’ll forever be thankful for how unconditional your love was. No matter what kind of personal BS any of your family or friends were going through, you always seemed to stick by them. Whether they needed the biggest hug or room to breathe, you offered it with open arms and an understanding that you’d always be there. 

I like to think that mom is following in your footsteps in being a grandma to Isla and Norah. Many things that I was able to experience with you, such as camping and hot tubbing, Isla has been able to experience with her, and I know Norah will also be just as fortunate. Thank you so much for being such an amazing role model, because I’m so grateful that my girls are able to make memories with their grandma, just as I was able to make them with you.

I love you, Grandma, and even though I no longer dream of you I’ll never stop thinking about you. You’ll always be right here in my heart when I need you.

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Chicken Soup and Mac n’ Cheese

Dear Grandma,

It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since you so suddenly departed from our lives. It’s been tough – so tough – and not a day goes by where I don’t think about you.

Memories of you sometimes come at the most peculiar times; I may be doing something mundane and routine like changing a diaper or watching TV, or perhaps it’s something more specific, like making homemade soup or attempting to replicate your famous mac n’ cheese. (You made the best homemade chicken soup and mac n’ cheese, hands down, and I don’t think what I make will ever come close to how good yours was.) They never fail to put both a smile on my face and a tear in my eye at the same time.

I never thought someone would have such a significant influence on me, and it’s unfortunate that I’m only truly realizing how much of an influence you had after you’ve passed. Your “isms” speak loud and clear in my head a lot: “Treat others the way you want to be treated!”, “Come on in if your nose is clean!”, or “Kitchen Witch!” Whether silly or serious, I’ll never forget your words of wisdom.

I wish you were able to meet your great-grandbabies. I know Isla and Norah would have adored their Nana. It hurts so much knowing that you passed just a few months before Isla was born, especially because you were so excited to meet her. I’m thankful that you got to “meet” her while I was still pregnant; those moments will forever be etched in my heart.

I really want to thank you for being such an amazing grandmother not only to me and my brother, but to your 16 other grandkids as well. Your love and devotion to you family has influenced us all in so many ways and we can only hope to be as great as you were.

I miss you so much, Grandma, and one day I know I’ll be sitting down with you again to enjoy a bowl of chicken soup and a plate of mac n’ cheese.

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