I look back on my childhood, on the things I loved, and wished the same for Keaton and my future children. How Grandma’s house was always the house to gather. Even without a holiday or formal dinner. My mom would take us over for a visit and before long my Aunt was there with her kids. On warm days/nights we would gather on the front porch and watch the world go by. Grandma ran a daycare and all us girls got our start there before we were old enough to go to school. I was at my grandmas before school, after school and sometime during school—when I convinced her I was too sick to go. I lived with her on and off throughout my childhood as did my sisters. Our grandma was more than a grandma. That house was the heart of our family. I have so many memories of my grandparents. They surrounded me and my sisters with love and did the best they could with us. One of my earliest memories is of my grandma singing. She loved to sing and had a voice that could stop a war in its tracks. She would listen to the newest song she was trying to learn and iron. We would sit on the swing on warm evenings and she would sing. As I got older I saw how much she loved. She had the biggest heart and could take anyone in and make them feel like they belonged. She loved unconditionally and with her full heart. It was all the little things I hold dear to my heart now. All the little things: memories of her cooking, cleaning, singing, watching TV, swinging, and driving. It’s the little everyday things that mean the most, those are the things the matter, those are the things we remember.
My house will now be the house Keaton and my children remember. My house will be the house we gather for holidays and just because. It is up to us now, to teach Keaton and future children all the things the ones we have lost taught us.
Along with the feeling of grief is a new feeling. It feels empty. I feel lost. She was the safety net and now that she is gone I’m not sure where to turn. I am exhausted.
Grandma is now with Grandpa and her youngest daughter, my Aunt Penny. Those three together again, happy and healthy bring a smile to my face.
Things change, life changes. We can never have what once was. Things don’t stay the same. People grow older, people die. I hate this. I wish I could hold on to everything from my past that made me happy. My grandma and grandpa would still be alive and healthy living in the house I grew up in. My Aunt would still be alive, healthy and happy. We would still gather at grandmas, we would still sit on the porch on a nice day. I miss those times, those days; I miss those faces and voices.
I hope my future children and Keaton can look back on their childhood and have half the good memories I have. I hope we can provide them with all the warmth and love our grandparents did us. I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed and like I am sitting myself up for failure on this one, those are large shoes to fill.
I will miss you grandma—but everyone who knew you will miss you. You are a wonderful person and your family loved you so much. Give grandpa a big hug and let him kiss you and tell his stories one more time—how I miss his gruff deep voice. Tell Aunt Penny life isn’t the same without her and give her a hug and kiss from us. We will see you all again real soon—please keep an eye on us; we can us all the help we can get!
I love you.