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.