My Grannie did an amazing job of taking care of me. And I suppose that right now, I could use a little TLC, especially some from her.
When Hannah was born in 2005, Abby was only 18 months old. Grannie came to stay with me for a whole month, which included the Christmas holidays. She originally thought she'd spend most of her time sitting with the baby, but then Hannah turned out to only want me 99% of the time, so Grannie was continually chasing after a toddler...with a smile.
On the Sunday drive to church, I remembered all the little ways she cared for me that month. You'd think it'd all be a blur with the holidays and two babies and little sleeping, but these memories stuck and they stuck hard:
- We'd fix lunch together after the girls had been feed and went down for their naps (she always told me I made the best sandwiches). And she'd encourage me to just sit and read the paper. There was no pressure to entertain her and she knew those few moments of silence and "me time" were precious.
- The girls had matching Christmas outfits that came with the same-size headband. Grannie sewed Hannah's to make it smaller and didn't say a word about it at church when I left it at home accidentally.
- At night when the girls were down and Grannie had had a full day of doting on the girls, she still let me put my head in her lap and she'd stroke my hair. Somehow, I figured I was just never too old for this.
- On Christmas Eve, I still couldn't fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I was near tears about the fact I was wearing a maternity shirt to church. And she just looked at me and whispered, "You look just beautiful, darlin'." And somehow, that was enough.
I know she cooked and cleaned and played and for those things, I am grateful. But it's these little things that were just for me that I hold in the deepest places in my heart. In the remembering of these things, I get teary-eyed. My mouth down-turns. And I weep.
She's been gone three and a half years, but the way my heart clenches sometimes, it feels like yesterday.
And that's okay.
I write this because I'm an external processor, because I love my Grannie, because the more I write down the memories, the more I'll remember them through the years.
But I write it for you, too, if you are grieving this holiday season. Because sometimes, we need to be reminded that grief is a long process and that it's okay to cry about things society says we should "be over by now."
I think William Shakespeare sums it all up well in these words:
"Everyone can master grief but he who has it."So, sweet friend, we can grieve and remember together. I would love to hear some memories of your loved ones today. Share them with me?
Linking with Emily, Michele and Women to Women today.