I wrote this piece for my grandmother about a year ago. She was not expected to live through the night that I wrote this. She ended up living another year because, what can I say? My grandma was a tough cookie. She passed away this morning, but this time I did get a chance to make a phone call and talk to her one last time. She’s at peace. I’m at peace. I’m reposting this for her.
I guess this is the goodbye that I won’t get to tell you.
I’m here stuck at school studying for my exams that don’t seem to matter anymore. From the sound of things you wouldn’t even know I was there if I could say goodbye, but still. It seems like the world should stop turning to see you off. But that’s the thing about life–you don’t get to pause it.
My sister and I always joked that you’d outlive all of us. You always seemed so strong for 89…90…91… You seemed timeless in a sense. But I guess no one is. Not really.
I don’t know if there’s a heaven, but of course, I wouldn’t tell you that if I thought you would really be reading this. I guess whether or not I know won’t change anything, but I wish…
I wish right now, more than ever, that I knew. I wish it were as easy to believe as it used to be when I was a child and heaven was a shiny, golden castle in the clouds that was as real and as wonderful to me as sunshine or your warm, sweet potato pie.
I wish I could know.
I wish I could know that you were in good hands.
I wish my faith were stronger for you. Oh, how I wish that.
But since I can’t know, I’ll hope.
I’ll hope that heaven is a place where Matlock is always on and where the book shelves are always filled with Readers Digest condensed books.
Where Debbie and Neil and Lee and Grandpa are waiting.
I hope it’s not hard.
I hope it’s like falling asleep.
I hope it’s like rest.
I hope it’s like warmth with God’s love all around.
I hope that with all the pieces of my broken faith, glued together with my love for you.
But since I can’t know, life seems more precious. So short, even at 92. So fragile. A vapor slipping through my hands.
I’ll always remember what that life meant to me.
I love you, Grandma.