A tribute to Grandma, 11 years later

I’ve missed her every day for 11 years now. I genuinely can’t believe it’s been that long. I can still smell her Cover Girl press powder as I write these words.

I don’t know if my heart shrunk or grew that day. After spending a month with a normally very private person as she was in her most vulnerable state is something I’ll never forget. Grace comes in many forms.

I consider it a graceful privilege that I was able to spend so much time with my grandma as she was dying. I know my mom was given lots of grace to be able to spend almost every hour with her mother-in-law in that hospice house. She spent her summer off teaching giving time to Grandma when others couldn’t. I consider it a graceful blessing that I was not there to see Grandma’s last breath. I was there within half an hour and she was already cold. She was already gone – just a vessel of who there once was. I was heartbroken for my heartbroken grandfather. He’d lost his favorite person, his Bug. She was my favorite person too. I think she will always be that to me.

Grandma taught me how to apply blush & lipstick, how to cross my legs at the ankle when sitting in a skirt or dress. She taught me how to laugh and love people. She taught me to love food and family and how to serve up a beautiful dinner table. I take notes about anything and everything like she did. I keep track of certain gifts I’ve received from whom and where so that the next generation will know a piece of the story. I have furniture of hers and art that she created. (I didn’t even know she was an artist until after she died!) Her voice runs through my mind in so many of my daily and big life decisions. Her encouragement and support is still here. What I wouldn’t give to hear her say my dad’s name in her Southern drawl one more time.

I said I don’t know if my heart shrunk or grew that day she died. But I think it did both if that’s even possible. A piece of my heart will forever be missing without her barely 5’ self here to hug and sit with and talk to. Yet another part of my heart grew because she’s taught me how to love just by being there.

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