It’s been five years today since I lost the most influential person in my life. The best parts of who I am have come from her, and she is everything I strive to become. Not a single day passes when I don’t see her face, hear her laugh, feel the warmth of her hugs or think how unfair it is that she was taken so early from my life. Even though it hurts to long for her, I can only be grateful because for 23 years she was my rock and my safe haven.
My grandmother meant the world to me. She had always wanted a daughter of her own, but when her third child was still-born, she lost that dream and I think she re-found it in me. I wasn’t the first female grandchild to be born, but I was geographically the closest and I think that allowed us to become the closest emotionally, as well. Growing up, I think I spent more time with my grandparents than I did with my own parents. I used to love hanging out with them. We would go for drives, get ice cream, go shopping, or just sit around at home cooking or watching scary movies. I still to this day don’t like scary movies but grandma did, and she made me feel safe. She would sit there knitting away and giggling and gaping at the television while I huddled in a blanket on the couch, simply happy to be in her presence.
I didn’t see Gram as often after my parents divorced and we moved away. I remember though, every time I came home I would ring the doorbell and walk in to greet grandma, she would turn the corner from the kitchen, see that it was me, and *sqeal*. I’m not exaggerating and anyone who knew her could attest to this. She would actually let out this high pitched throaty squeal and as it turned into a giggle she would grab me up and squeeze me until I couldn’t breathe any longer. I lived for those moments. I would give anything to have them back, I think they’re what I miss the most. I’ve never felt as important or special to anyone in my life as I did to her. She truly loved me more than words.
People talk a lot about “soul mates” in the context of romantic love, but I don’t think it has to be that way. I think grandma was my soul mate; in fact, I firmly believe it. Even though Gram hasn’t been physically in my life for five years now, my faith allows me to believe that she is no further away than she ever was. Sometimes I forget and get angry that she’s gone, but then I remember that she never truly feels far away if I would only pay attention.
I won’t be sad tomorrow, when the anniversary hits. Those dates never make me sad, it’s the unexpected things that do. Instead, tomorrow will be a nervous and exciting day, because I will participate in the first of five adoption training seminars that I will complete this month. I’m sure grandma will be there next to me, cheering me on as I go! I can always count on her for that.
I made this video a couple of years ago; It’s of Grandma with me as a baby. You probably don’t care to see it, but it makes me smile to hear her laugh.