Today would have been my grandmother’s 87th birthday. She passed away in 2007, and I swear there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and wish with all my heart that she was still here.
I grew up in the same town as her, just about three minutes away from her house, and I would spend weekends with her when I was a little girl. She would come to our house throughout the week. She was at every holiday. Every birthday. I grew up with her always being there. I don’t want to say that I took our relationship for granted, but I think that like everything that is a constant in our lives – air, music, water, parents, siblings – we tend not to fully appreciate it until it’s gone.
When I got married, I moved to a different city about an hour’s drive from “home”. I didn’t see my grandmother all that much back then, being so far away. I got “busy” with married life. Then children started arriving and my time was even more stretched. My visits were few throughout those years, but yet she never made me feel guilty for not visiting. Instead, whenever she did see me, she always told me what a good job I was doing with my children, how lucky I was to have such a good husband, and how proud she was of me. Her praise meant so much.When I was with her during those sparse visits, I would realize just how much I had missed her. And I would promise myself that I’d visit more often. But then I would get back to my life, get caught up in the day to day happenings… and before I knew it, another 4 months had gone by without a visit.
Still, she would wait patiently. Just an unconditional love. A constant.
She wasn’t much for talking on the phone, but sometimes I’d call her up and say, “Hey, Gram, how are you?” and she would always say, “Oh, I’m still above ground!” and she would laugh, thinking her comment was so darn funny. I guess it kinda was, but at the time I would say, “Don’t say that!” The idea of her dying was too much for me to even think about.
Now that she’s no longer here, I find myself wishing I had visited more, wishing I had called more, wishing I had written more letters and sent more cards in the mail.
I wish, I wish, I wish.
Yet I know that if she knew I felt like this, she would say something like, “Don’t feel like that, sweetie. I knew you loved me. You were busy being a wife and mother, taking care of those beautiful grandbabies of mine. No need to worry about old gram! “
I can almost hear her saying that.
I wish that there was a phone that connected to Heaven, and you could call your loved ones anytime you wanted, just to say hello. It would be called “The Hotline to Heaven” and I’d call my gram up each night before I went to sleep and I’d tell her all about my day, and she would give me advice, tell me a story or two about what it was like when she was a girl. Sometimes she might even talk to Aria and would laugh at all the cute things she said, and then she would tell me, “Oh, Trini, she’s just darling!” (my gram used to call me Trini) And before we hung up the phone each night, she would tell me what a good job I was doing and that she was so proud of me. She always told me that I was doing a good job with my kids. I miss hearing that.
The hardest thing about life is having to continue on in it when someone you love has passed away. Take that away, and I think life would be just about perfect. Just about.