My Dear Grandmother,

It seems so hard to believe that it has been three years since you left us. And while I know you’re in Heaven with all of your brothers and sisters, Grandad, and Mom, and I’m pretty sure you’re having a great celebration, it’s still hard. This week I have often been reminded of you frequently saying in those last few months that you didn’t understand why God wasn’t taking you already. In my head, I always screamed “Because I’m not ready.” And yet, we’re never really ready, no matter how much we prepare. And so, I write. I write because it helps me sort out feelings. I write because it’s a story to tell. People all have losses in their lives, and I get that.

Three years later, I’m still a fan of the show Grey’s Anatomy. It is where I found that phrase that so aptly applied to you. You were my person. The one I always went to, the one who always believed in me, and yes, even the one who would call me on things when you didn’t think they were right. Every child should be so blessed to have someone in their life who believes in their potential like I had with you.

I’d like to tell you that the last three years have made your passing easier. They really haven’t. And yet, in some strange ways, I do find more acceptance each day. I find myself sometimes able to hear your words, especially during those times when I’m ready to give up on something. It’s then that I hear that quiet voice that always said “You can do anything you set your mind to.” It’s that reminder that pushes me to do things I never dreamed possible. It’s that reminder that got my book published in the last year.

I find myself being so grateful for the time we had during the last few years of your life. I’m so glad that my husband was able to get to know and love you like I did. He often reminds me of things that endeared you to him and we smile and laugh together. And when he’s “extravagant” with gifts and I want to tell him to stop, it’s your voice I hear reminding me that we don’t tell our husbands to stop doing for us, because they will. One of life’s lessons that you taught me.

I am constantly reminded of all you brought to our family. We still have kids who give “head butt” loves. We still talk about things like “that’s a Gram look.” You are always here on holidays when we use the recipes you shared and make the things you taught us to make. So, in many ways, while you’re gone, you’re not. You live on in the things you gave to each of us. I am grateful for that.

I have been incredibly blessed by those life lessons you taught me. How to love unconditionally. You were so good at that. The power of encouragement. I only hope I can be half as good at that one as you were with me. It matters so much in the lives of those around us. It is a standard I strive to attain because I saw the value of it in my own life.

So three years later and here we are. I know you’re in a better place, no more suffering, no more pain, reunited with those you loved. Yet, I still miss you, every single day. I’m sure I always will.

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