On March 24, 2009, I lost my best friend, my rock, and favorite person..my Grandma.
I was so lucky to have a Grandma like my Grandma Ellen. Grandma Ellen lived 5 minutes from my house. Throughout pre-school, every Wednesday, Grandma would pick me up from school and take me to the library and out for lunch. I always begged her to take me to Mcdonald's and even though she knew it wasn't the healthiest option...she never said no. She just wanted me to be happy.
As I got older, I would just randomly call Grandma. I still have her phone number memorized to this day. She always said I could come over, no matter if she was busy or not. I saw her at least twice a week. It was such a special relationship.
Grandma always read to me. She had a big stack of books in a drawer under the kitchen TV. She bought me any book I said I wanted, even if she knew I would never finish it.
Grandma came to many of my little league softball games. I remember being on the field and being so excited to see her on the sidelines.
Grandma always had Trader Joe's cinnamon alphabet cookies and big packs of Tic Tacs at her house. These snacks immediately make me think of her.
The way I found out my Grandma had cancer was absolutely devastating. I was in elementary school. I used to always pick up the other phone while my mom was on the line to eavesdrop on the conversations. I clearly chose to listen to the wrong one as I heard my grandma explain what the doctor had told her.
Grandma had a bumpy road with cancer. There were times when she was looking better and healthier. However, towards the end, it was the worst I have ever seen a human being.
I remember going to my first Opera in 6th grade with my middle school choir. Grandma Ellen loved Operas and after the field trip, I went right to the hospital to tell Grandma all about the show. I laid in bed with her and explained how I didn't like the performance because it wasn't in English. She laughed.
Because I was only in 6th grade, I don't think I completely understood cancer and what it was doing to her. Towards the end of her journey, I remember my parents explaining that the cancer was winning. They expressed that she was not herself anymore and asked me if I wanted to say goodbye.
Goodbye? How can I say goodbye to my person? But, I knew it was my last chance, and my sad 12-year-old-self said yes. I went to her hospital bed with tears dripping down my face. Her eyes were closed, and she could not speak.
She had stuffed flowers with smiley faces in her hospital room that someone brought her as a gift. I took one because I knew this flower will always remind me of her and her smile. This flower will never die, just like my relationship with my grandmother.
Even though Grandma may not be here physically anymore, I know she is always with me. It is officially 9 years since Grandma Ellen lost her battle with cancer. As time passes, it hasn't gotten easier, and it never will.
However, Grandma would not want me to live my life in sadness. Everything I do today, I have her in the back of mind. I hope I am making her proud.
I miss you. Another year, and it will never get easier.