I Should Have Reconciled Sooner But, Grandma, I Miss You All The Time

I Should Have Reconciled Sooner But, Grandma, I Miss You All The Time

I really hope you knew how much I loved you and still love you.

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It has been over a year since you have passed away. I have not written about how I feel now that you are gone. It is not because I have nothing to say about it, but rather I am unsure where to begin. Grandma, you have always been there for me, even when I refused to talk to you or Grandpa, even though I really wanted to talk to you. I needed time to process, and I was too afraid you would pressure me into talking to my Dad which I was not ready to do at the time.

I never got the chance to tell you why I literally vanished out of your life for a few years. I was scared, confused, and didn't know what to believe. I also didn't see a reason to bring it up since it would do nothing but cause pain. I up and left because I couldn't take it anymore.
I was tired of being told where to go and with whom I had to spend my time with. I was a confused teenager, and I was trying to figure out who I was. Maybe I should have opted to stay with you and Grandpa more often.

I quickly forgot, somehow, the security I felt going to your house. Not that I wasn't safe with Mama or Daddy, but I had too much stuff to sort out, and I had no clue how to do it. I could have also gone to spend time with my sister, and my brother moved out to live with his dad when I was seven, but I think I felt I had to handle how I felt on my own. I see now I didn't have to, but it did make me into the person I am today. I am proud of who I am today. My ignorant teenage self ignored you and Grandpa and even Daddy when in reality I should have been more open about how I was feeling. I am glad you came to my graduation, even though I saw you and chose to walk away. I can only imagine the pain I put you through, and for that, I am truly sorry.

But this is not about why I was distant for those few years, but rather it is a tribute of how much you mean to me. I miss you so much, and it is hard to believe you are no longer here on earth with us anymore. I know it was your time to go, and you were in so much pain from the cancer. I am glad you are no longer in pain, but it doesn't take away the pain I feel when I want to pick up the phone and talk to you.

I am so thankful for the time I could spend with you. I remember one day, when I was eight-years-old, I was visiting you and Grandpa while on break from school. You came home and sat on the couch with me. I think you thought I was asleep because once you placed my head in your lap and gently rubbed my back, you began to tell Grandpa what the doctor told you.

I tried so hard to pretend I was asleep as you told Grandpa it had been confirmed that you have cancer. I could only old the tears back so long before I just let it loose. You were dying. That is what I thought. I never knew anyone who had cancer and survived. I prayed to God; please let me have more time with Grandma. I am not ready for her to die.

You got better, and you were in remission for eighteen years before the cancer came back. I had eighteen more years with you before the cancer took you from this world.
I remember spending the entire summer with you and even spring breaks. I loved going on vacations with you and Grandpa. I was able to have fun and not worry about anything. One of my favorite things to do on vacation was swimming. I would have swum all day long if you let me. Oh, and always going to some store (it never mattered where) and getting me another journal to write in. You always believed in my writing.

One year for Christmas, I was in Eighth Grade, you and Grandpa got me a book Just Jane by William Lavender and had him sign it. He was my penpal for about a year at that time, and you thought it would be a great surprise to do that for me. You got his address from I am guessing Daddy and wrote to him and asked if he would mind doing that for me. I was so excited, and I immediately started to reread that book again. You also, throughout the years, bought me The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, and before too long I had the entire series. My reading was just as important to you as my writing. We would go to Books-A-Million, and you would let me pick out a few books each time we went there. Thank you.
Thinking about this now, I realize I haven't read as much or as often as I know I should. I know since I am a writer, it is important to read. I promise I will get into the habit of reading more often. That is a great tool for writers to be able to grow. I have the kindle that Johnny gave me, and I try to bring it with me to work, but I forget sometimes.

I am glad I finally decided to call you and talk to you. It was when I was going into the Navy. I wanted you and Grandpa to drive me to Beaufort from Ellijay, Ga. I was unsure of how to talk to you. I was afraid of the years that had passed, and I caused too much damage to be able to fix it. My anxiety quickly faded when I heard you answer the phone like no time has passed at all saying, "Hey baby girl!"I apologized for not calling sooner, but it was awkward at first since I felt like I had to justify why I did what I did. The more we talked, the more comfortable I began. Before I knew it, I called you more and more, and my fears began to fade away.

I think about you all the time, especially when I am on my way to Food Lion. I used to call you when I was either on my way to get food or on my way back home. I tried my best to call you every day. Life got busy time to time, but I hope you knew how much I loved you. It seems stupid to say, but I sometimes wonder if I focused too much on venting to you, and not enough time asking you how you were. I know you loved me so much, but I hope I wasn't selfish when I would call you.

I remember the last time you were able to visit. I am sorry I didn't visit you often. I should have made trips to see you, but instead, I made you come to where I was. Before you had to go back, you looked at me with tears in your eyes and said, "Andrea, I'm scared." I held you tight as I let you cry on my shoulder. I knew at that moment, you realized the cancer was back, and I believe you knew ultimately it would kill you. I held you tightly, and I didn't want to let you go.

A month later, I tried calling you, and Daddy answered the phone and told me you weren't feeling good. I heard you say, "Tell my baby girl I love her." I told Daddy to tell you, "I love you Grandma, I will call you tomorrow." Tomorrow came and when I called, Beth answered, and you were having another bad day. I couldn't help but think was this the end? I should have gotten in my car then and drove to you, but I guess part of me was scared. I decided to give it another day and go from there. I knew I should have gotten in the car and went to see you. I should have comforted you in your final days on earth. The way you have always been there for me. It was the least I could do.

February 14th, Valentine's day was changed forever. We had a chili cookoff at the church that Saturday, so I decided to go to Walmart to get items we needed for the chili and soup we were going to make. My phone rang, it was Daddy. I answered the phone."Grandma is heading to the hospital." I heard the rest of the conversation at the time, but that statement kept going around in the back of my head."When I know, more I will call you." I got off the phone with Daddy and decided to still go to Walmart. I needed something to distract me from the worry I had. I want Grandma to be alright.

I got a cart and put Johnathon in the seat and began to grab the items we needed from Walmart. I kept looking at my phone hoping it would ring, but it didn't. I was almost done with the shopping trip. I needed to grab Johnathon a pair of shoes since he outgrew his other ones, and one other ingredient for the chili Johnny wanted to try to make. I was in the spices isle, when I heard my phone make a noise. I missed a phone call from my sister. I called her back.

When she answered, I could hear the sadness in her voice and I knew it wasn't good. "Did you call Daddy? He tried to call you, but you phone went right to voicemail." I began to tear up as I said, "No." "She didn't make it. I am so sorry." I ease myself down to the floor, using the buggy as an aid and I began to cry. After a few minutes, I think, I got up and grabbed Johnathon and his shoes, and left the buggy there. I realize now I could have grabbed the cart and bought the items I placed in there, but I just wanted to get out of Walmart. Johnathon needed shoes, or I would have left those there too. I called Johnny as I made my way to the checkout line.

When I got to the garden center checkout, the cashier asked, "Are you okay?" All I could say was, "No."

I still listen to your voicemails I have on my phone. I have three from you, and I have the voicemail my sister left me telling me to call her or Daddy as soon as possible. Johnny and I sang your favorite song, "Because He Lives," at your funeral as I promised you we would. I would give anything to hear your voice one last time, but at the same time, I know that isn't possible. I am glad you are away from pain and you are no longer suffering. Grandma, I wrote this for you because I needed to get these words out. I needed to demonstrate the love I have for you, and I really do hope you know how much I love and miss you.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To The Best Friend Every Girl Should Be Blessed Enough To Have

You definitely deserve all the love.

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I have not written this letter, but it has been on my list of "to write" for forever. She keeps asking when I will write one about her and every time I tell her, soon.

Well here it is. The truth on why it took so long? No words seem to do everything justice. No matter how I put them or how I want them to sound, the page always makes them look weird and they always sound lame.

But finally, here it is. Best friend, this one is for you.

First and foremost I will start with a holy cow. We have been best friends for only a short time because who knew your "in school friend" from all those math classes would actually turn into this? We put off hanging out outside of school for years, and finally, after suffering through all that algebra we decided enough was enough.

I wish we had sooner.

I wish I had gotten more time with you before we both moved away to college - but ill take whatever time I get with you because well… you're incredible.

Thank you.

Thank you for finally agreeing to hang out with me.

Thank you for listening to every rant ever - whether it was a paragraph long text, a 2 hour FaceTime call or an hour-long car ride.

Thank you for ordering planners with me and spending nights decorating them with me (we are such losers).

Thank you for letting me become a part of your family.

Thank you for going to Friendly's, IHOP and Target at the most ungodly hours.

Thank you for encouraging me in everything I do, and stopping me from making bad decisions.

Thank you for telling me the truth, despite if it hurt me or not, I know now you will never lie about your feelings towards someone (LOL).

Basically, thank you for everything you have done for me. You have made me a better person and you encourage me to be my best self every single day.

Moving on I want to make it clear how incredibly proud of you I am. I love getting texts from you about your love for your classes, and how you want to be president of this club and president of that. How you help out kids, and how you host events. I love hearing about your major and the classes you are so incredibly excited to take. Watching you be so passionate about what you are doing and becoming makes me want to feel the same way in everything I do.

I hope someday my kids are your students because, in your hands, I know they can change the world.

Last but not least, I love you. And you're stuck with me.

Love,

Your forever number one fan

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