My Rock, My Safe Haven, My Soul Mate

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.

“There are chapters in every life which are seldom read and certainly not aloud.” -Carol Shields

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I Lie

People ask me how I’m doing, and I lie. I tell them I’m managing because the truth might break me. Most days, it’s all I can do just to hold back the tears. I’m so overwhelmed by my emotions that I might crack at any given moment. I’m afraid of losing my mind. I’m afraid of screaming or crying or throwing something against a wall. I’m bitchy. I’m sensitive. I’m depressed. I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to acknowledge it because I’m afraid the tears might never stop once they start. I’m afraid to show weakness, because I’ve always been the one to keep it together. I’m afraid I’ve ruined my life. I’ve given up my condo to live with my Mother and I worry about regret. I worry about losing my job because I can’t think clearly enough to appropriately deal with difficult people or situations. Every day it is a struggle to walk into the office. I have to force a smile and pretend like I care about what so-and-so did last night. I feel incompetent, worthless, unappreciated. I can’t have a conversation with my boss without nearly crying. I haven’t even had time to grieve for my father because I’m too caught up in estate responsibilities and work stress. I’m a mess. My whole life is a mess. Three months ago the only thing I could truly complain about was my complicated love life and now I thrive on it because it’s the only thing normal and recognizable. I need a break. I need to submerge myself in a good book, I need to lie on a beach. I need to hug my best friend for the first time in a year and I need to cry with her. I need to laugh and to love and to catch up on sleep. I need to slow down, I need to breathe again, and I need time to miss my Dad. I’m just not sure how to get from here to there.