September 19, 2011

Say it Now

Well, I guess it’s true what they say….when it rains it pours. And right about now we’re feeling like we’re in the midst of a flood.

Yesterday morning at our wedding we got news that my Grandma Goldie had passed away, quietly and without pain. I’m sharing this here now because I know there are so many of you out there who loved my grandma just from the stories you’ve heard about her at spread the love. And I guess I want as many people remembering her right now as possible.

We’ll be going home to WV this week to mourn with my family, so we’ll be off the radar for a while. But Julia will still be tagging in to take care of things around here.

I’m heartbroken.There are so many things right now that I wish I would have done or been more of for her. But the one thing that’s giving me comfort is that I got to say the things I wanted her to hear while there was still time. Some of you might remember the letter that I wrote to her a while back on here and read at the end of every STL. A couple of weeks ago I mailed it to her and I got to know she got it and read every word. So I’m reposting it here in remembrance of her.

And I guess my hope is if there’s someone out there that you still need to say something to, don’t wait. Call them up, write that letter, go back home. But whatever it is…

Say it now.

Dear Goldenrod (you hate when I call you Goldenrod),

I’m writing this letter mostly for me. Because I never want to forget.

Never want to forget your blue-gray eyes laughing back at me, when we were up to something we weren’t supposed to. And we were always up to something we weren’t supposed to. How they would dance and shine out at me behind all those lines on your face. I know you don’t think you have any, but I guess there are a few. And I love every one.

I never want to forget how soft your hands were….because you always insisted on putting lotion on about a hundred times a day. Or how you held my hand even when I didn’t want you to. Like that first day we toured the WVU campus, and I thought I was going to die. I hope you know that I would hold your hand every single day now if I could.

And I never want to forget staying up late with you watching Lucy on Nick at Nite. Or how when you really get to laughing, you laugh so hard that you don’t even make a sound anymore. But your whole body shakes and the tears stream down your face. And how it always makes me laugh like that too.

There is so much of you in me. And I just never want to forget that. So I write this letter mostly for me.

But I write it for you too.

Because it occurred to me as we sat playing Yahtzee and talking over banana pepper pizza on Second Thanksgiving….that you might not even know. Everything that you’ve meant to me. So I had you tell all your favorite stories again, and I listened like it was the last time I might get to hear them. And somehow, the punch lines all seemed funnier. And I asked you the questions I had always wanted to ask you, but had never quite gotten the courage to….and I tried to soak in every word of the answers.

I asked you what you were most proud of in your life, and you told me about a prize you once won. And I sat in stunned silence, because in that moment I realized “Oh God….you don’t even know.”

Everything that you’ve meant to me.

In you, I had my own personal cheerleader, chef, confidant, accomplice. I have often wondered if anyone in this world has ever been as loved, as much as I know that you loved me. In your eyes, I could do no wrong. And having just one person in this world see me that way, as totally and completely wrong as you may have been, somehow made it easier for me to try harder. To be better. You believed in me before I ever knew what it meant to believe in myself. You pushed and pushed and then pushed some more. And when I pushed back, you won me over with apple sauce. And store bought pumpkin pie.

So the next time I ask you, what is the thing you are most proud of in your life….I want you to look straight back at me with those blue-gray eyes and tell me “I loved somebody completely. Fully. With my whole heart. As much as one person can possibly love another. And it has made all the difference.”

See I write this letter for me. But I also write it for you.

Because I need to know that you know. And I never want you to forget.

  1. Caitlin Sullivan

    Please know I will say a prayer for sweet Goldenrod today. I’ll be sending happy thoughts your way over these next couple of days. Thank you for the beautiful reminder today!

  2. nadya

    so sorry to hear about your loss! My grandma recently had major surgery but she lives in colombia but after reading this i definitely should call her and say hello :( . wishing your family all the best.

  3. robyn

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This is such a wonderful tribute to your beloved grandma. I will pray for you and your family.

  4. Isabel

    So sorry for you loss. Grandma Goldie has a soft spot in all our hearts and will sorely be missed. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  5. Alicia W

    I am so sorry for your loss … but am also very happy she got to read that beautiful letter. Thank you for putting this out there, the reminder. Too often we get caught up in life and time and don’t think about things until they are gone. What blessings you were to each other.

  6. rich

    so sorry to hear about your loss. we will be praying for you and your family.

  7. Mallory

    Mary, so sorry to hear about your grandma. I bet she was a great lady, and reading your letter to her made me miss mine that much more. I never got the opportunity to say all of those things to mine, and she was probably just as great at your Goldie. Maybe they knew each other…being from WV, and maybe they were friends, take comfort in knowing that where ever she is, because she loved you on this earth, she is being treated like a queen! Many thoughts and prayers with you and Justin as you travel and mourn. God Bless!

  8. Holly

    what a beautiful letter, mary. your grandma sounds like she was quite the lady! :) so sorry for your loss… thinking of you today… xo.

  9. Nelly

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is never easy when someone or something dear leaves us. You are in my thoughts and I will never forget to SAY IT NOW. Life is short. Love it passionately.

  10. Gail

    Oh Mary, if anyone can empathize with what you’re going through…..I lost my beloved grandmother in February. I was at WPPI when she took a turn for the worst and in between trying to figure out what to do, she passed away. And like you, I felt SO guilty. I left early and made it back for the funeral, but it’s still SO hard when you lose someone quickly like that. I had made a video of my grandmother last year that I was SO glad I took the time to make. Reminds me of this beautiful letter you wrote your own grandmother.

    My heart aches for you and Justin and your loss. May prayers and comfort and sweet memories of your grandma be your guide this week as you mourn.

  11. Deb

    So sorry for your loss…a million virtual hugs to you. Grandma Goldie is in a wonderful place and no doubt still cheering you on. So glad she got to read your letter and may this be a lesson to all of us, to stop holding back and live like there are no tomorrows.

  12. Jil

    I am so sorry and am sending SO much love to you and your family during this difficult time. <3

  13. Deyla Huss Photography

    I am so sorry for you loss, what a wonderful letter you wrote. It reminds me of my grandmother and our times and as I know our time is coming to a close soon, Enjoy your time with your family and I’m sending you a big virtual hug!!

  14. dawn beirnes

    so sorry Justin and Mary…..Mary, I know you must have SO many awesome memories! What a legacy she passed on.

  15. Lisa Cour

    I’m so sorry. What a beautiful tribute in that letter. Safe travels!

  16. Alison

    Many many hugs to you and your family. You letter hits on so many levels and has encouraged me to say what needed to be said to my own grandmother, though alzheimers has taken her ability to understand it. Thank you for sharing Goldie with us. You both (and your whole family) will be in my prayers.

  17. Jessica

    I am so sorry for your loss. So many hugs to you and your family! Be safe and know that we are all thinking about you.

  18. Shefali Lindsey

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family and you this week! xoxo.

  19. KatieB

    Sending big hugs to you both-what an incredible letter for an amazing woman!

  20. Christa Hann

    Oh Mary….I’m so sad for your loss. I was genuinely touched by your relationship with her, especially at your Spread the Love seminar. May God give you peace and comfort as you grieve. Love you girl

  21. Amanda

    Mary, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this time.

    This letter that you have shared is so touching in so many ways and I think that both you and your grandmother were very lucky to have each other for the time that you did.

    Lots of hugs and prayers.

  22. Ben Sassani

    sorry to hear about your loss, Mary!

  23. Jess@DestinationInspirations

    I am so sorry for your loss Mary. My thoughts and prayers are with you Justin and all your family during this time. XOXO

  24. LeolaK

    I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss, Mary. I was touched by your letter at the STL, and am again and have never forgotten it. My heart and prayers go out to you at this time. Sending love up to your Grandmother too. Take care.

  25. Becky Hale Templeton

    May the extraordinary memories of your grandma keep you comfort – she was an incredible woman, and now your family has an incredible spirit watching over you. Let her live on in you xo

  26. Abbey

    Mary, I’m soo sorry for your loss. I also was touched by the letter that you shared at STL. My condolences to you and your family.

  27. Nancy Mitchell

    I am soo soo sorry for your loss Mary! Sounds like your gma was an incredible woman. My heart and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Sending you some hugs and saying a prayer for you and your family! xoxo…

  28. Jennifer Bacchiocchi

    Oh, Mary! I’m so sorry to hear about your beloved Grandma Goldie. But what a wonderful gift you gave her. You are so right. Say it now. You never know what life will bring. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  29. Belle

    Your letter is beautiful. Your grandmother sounds like and amazing woman. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  30. Alice G Patterson

    This is a wonderful remembrance in your grandma’s honor! Wishing you and your family lots of thoughts and prayers. xoxo

  31. amanda

    Oh Mary that was so lovely, I’ve got tears streaming down my face. I am so so sorry for your family’s loss. I know what it is like to have a grandmother who means so much more than words can say, and I can only imagine what it is like to have her taken. But know that while she’s up in Heaven, her spirit will always live in you and with you.

  32. Rupa

    I’m sorry for your loss Mary. With the course of my recent life happenings, I totally agree with you – ‘say it now’ or do it now, just don’t wait…there is no reason to wait. xoxo

  33. Kare

    Mary, I’m so sorry for your loss. How very lucky for you to have Grandma Goldie in your life, may she rest in peace and watch over you. xoxo

  34. Lesley

    Mary (and Justin) I’m so sorry for your loss! Thank you so much for sharing Grandma Goldie with us!

  35. Rebecca

    I’m so, so sorry to hear this…your story about Grandma Goldie at STL less than a month ago was so touching, I’m glad you had her in your life. Thinking of you and your family this week xo

  36. Bob

    So sorry about your grandmother. Hang in there.

  37. Isaac Stott

    I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss Mary. I will be praying for peace to come and comfort you and your family.

  38. Stephanie Stewart

    Oh Mary, I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet Grandmother! I’m certain that she was so very proud to have you as her beloved granddaughter. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

  39. Mireille

    Mary, so sorry for your loss. Wishing you lots of strength in this difficult time.

  40. Elizabeth

    Sorry to hear about your Grandmother passing…I know how hard it can be, I lost both parents with 4 years of each other and there is not a day that does not goes by without me thinking of them. Just remember you have wonderful memories of her and she will now be the angels watching over you. God bless you and your family.

  41. lauren

    my thoughts are with you, mary. there is no one in the world like a grandparent…true gems. :) *

  42. Jackie Lamas

    my heart is with you. i know how hard it is to loose such a wonderful grandmother and i know that god is keeping her at peace and watching over you.

  43. Jenny Solar

    Oh Mary… sending you and Justin both big hugs! I was so touched by your story of your grandma Goldie, especially because I never took the time to "say it now" to my own grandparents before they were gone. Thank you for putting out such a powerful message. I know she loved you s0…

  44. Julia R

    Mary, I am so sorry to learn of your grandmother’s passing. I hope that your years of warm, happy memories together bring you some comfort during this very difficult time. I’ll be thinking of you, Justin, and your entire family and sending lots of virtual love & hugs.

  45. Sindy

    So sorry to hear this. Hope you’re doing ok :)

  46. Gwendolyn Tundermann

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I pray for strength and comfort for all of you in this difficult time. Of all the posts you’ve ever written, this one hit home the most for me. It’s been 6 years since I lost my grandmother, and I look at her photo every day on my desk. I think of her every time I’m in the kitchen. And even 6 years later I just cry when I hear the old standard "I’ll Be Seeing You," because everything reminds me of her. And just as the memory of my grandmother lives in me, Grandma Goldie’s legacy lives on through you. XOXO

  47. Nicole Benitez

    Mary, my heart breaks for you and your family! KNow that God is holding you all through this and she is smiling down on you. She would have you know that you are an incredible person that touches lives in the most amazing way… just as she had! Love you! oxox

  48. Jenny Dewey

    Oh, Mary. I am just catching up on my blog reading and read this… My heart goes out to you! You and your family will be in my prayers and thoughts! Although I’ve heard this once at Spread the Love in SF, reading it once again brought me to tears. Such a beautiful moment shared between you two before her passing. Now her spirit will live on in those memories you have of her. Sending you love!

  49. ashley barnett

    Praying, thinking, and loving on you guys from afar. I hope you find some peace and celebrate in her memory. She obviously was a great woman as she helped shape another great woman (that would be you Mary). <3

  50. Stacy

    Mary – I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Your story is so special and my heart goes out to you and your whole family. Thank you for sharing Goldie with all of us who have ever heard you speak. Lots of Love!

  51. sharon elizabeth

    oh mary – my heart is aching for you and your family. please know that i’m thinking and praying for you. xoxoxoxo

  52. tiffany bolk

    sending love your way

  53. Michelle Hebert

    So sorry to hear about your loss! Praying for you and your family during this difficult time. Treasure those special memories in your heart!

  54. alissa

    Well said. I don’t know you, but feel more connected to you having read this. I am lucky enough to be loved completely and fully, too. Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am. Thank you for sharing this. I am sending love and prayers your way.

  55. DASHY

    Oh Mary….THANK YOU for sharing this. Your letter was so real and heartfelt. Every word you said was so touching that it left me to tears. I am really sorry to hear about your loss. But I am glad that you were able to tell your Grandma what was in your heart. I am sending prayers and warm thoughts your way. Thank you for always being a wonderful inspiration to all of us.

  56. Ray

    Of course I’m crying. Your Grandma Goldie sounds like she was a Godsend. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Loved the part of your letter about her laughing so hard, that she no longer made a sound. That must have been so cute to witness. <3

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