You’ve been gone nearly eight years now.
I still remember the last telephone conversation I had with you and the things that you said.
I remember standing outside of my sorority suite’s door in the basement of the Turnbull dormitory, holding my cell phone close to my ear, but far from my mouth, trying to listen to your last words to me without you hearing the sobs shaking up out of my chest and through my lips.
You told me to keep my nose clean and to take care of my mom.
I told you I would always do my best to make you proud of me.
We told each other how much we loved each other and I could hear your voice begin to break before I said goodbye and heard the line close.
Would you believe I never ever heard or saw you cry until that day?
I don’t think I realized it until afterwards, but it didn’t surprise me at all.
If you were nothing else at all, you were the epitome of a strong, collected woman. Strength takes many forms, especially in terms of what people consider to be a strong woman, but you; you were made of the same stuff as Queen Elizabeth, Golda Meir, Nefertiti.
That’s what you were. You were regal and there aren’t many people who I’ve crossed paths with in this world who carry themselves with the self-assurance and pride that you did.
I’ve come such a long way from that last phone call Grandma.
I really think part of the reason I didn’t give up on school when everyone else thought I should was because I’d promised to make you proud.
But oh how my heart broke into pieces when I graduated and you weren’t there to see it.
I met a good, smart man.
It took a few years and you probably would’ve been baffled at how I met him, although you were starting to catch on to the internet before you got sick, so maybe you would’ve been less skeptical than I give you credit for.
I think you would’ve liked him Grandma.
Granted you would’ve probably given me a talking to about the fact that he wasn’t Jewish and probably tossed a few “joking but sort of serious” jibes about some of his politics and beliefs.
But in the end I think you would’ve really liked him.
And I think he would’ve liked you too; he definitely would be able to understand my mom better had he met you as well.
I miss you so much still Grandma.
At our wedding in Pittsburgh and now with the baby almost here, I think of you often and I wish you could see the person I’ve grown to be.
I want to feel angry sometimes.
Angry at the way the world works, at the pain and suffering you had before you finally decided it was time to rest.
I used to be furious all the time, but in all honesty, I couldn’t fully appreciate what your time here with me, with us, meant until I was able to finally let go of all of the anger and the venom that kept seeping into me every time I thought of you.
I’ve learned to let go of the regret of not having you around and to embrace the comfort of thinking about you when I wish you could be here.
I’m not a person who believes you’re watching me from above or from some other spiritual plane of existence.
I don’t take solace in thinking that you can somehow see or know anything about my life as it is now.
But when I think of you Grandma, I feel pride and love. I feel like I can draw from the strength you showed me as I was growing up with you taking part in my life.
I feel joy because I carry the good parts of you with me, deep down in my heart.
I think if you knew that then I could be sure that I’d kept my promise to you.
I think you’d be very, very proud.
I love you Grandma. I always, always will.
*inspired by Imagination Prompt Generator: “write a letter to someone you miss greatly”