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It’s been almost a year and you would think it gets easier right? That life goes back to normal. That you don’t think about calling them or hoping they like your new boyfriend, but I don’t know if it does. All I could think about for a while after you passed was I have to be strong for mom. I have to be there for mom. You would want us to be strong for her and I hope we were, I hope we are.

I have this picture of you hanging in my apartment and I’m sure you just love that everyone who comes over sees it… and I’m sure you love even more that I’m sharing it here, but what can I say it makes me smile. It makes me think of all of the amazing things you gave me.

Grandma

You gave me everything grandma. You gave me love, you and grandad paid for my private school, and you gave me something no one else could give me… baking skills 🙂 You gave us bravery and showed us what grace looked like. You let me know I always had somewhere to go. You provided a family when family seemed broken. You gave me Wednesdays and Sunday mornings. You helped build my faith, by showing me what it looked like to love.

They say the holiday season is always the hardest when you lose someone and I’m trying to convince myself that October 30th isn’t some cursed day, but again this year it will prove to be one hell of a day the only difference is last year I didn’t know that I would forever remember the day before Halloween more than I would remember Halloween.

I’m crying and smiling while writing this because all I can think of are the inside jokes that I could put in here and have no person understand (Mom and Jenny, “Who’s insane?!).

I miss you. I miss your laugh, your smile… but there is so much of you in all of us, so much of you in mom. You were so much stronger than I ever knew Grandma, you were so much more than I ever knew and I wish I had told you that down here on earth.

You. Were. Amazing.

I love you. I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful for the life you gave us.

I don’t know if I will ever feel whole again, if the numbness will ever leave me. They keep saying time, but what can time do, but dim a mind? It cannot heal all wounds because some wounds run too deep. We keep saying it isn’t good-bye; we cling to our hope, our faith because what else is there?

I cry when no one is looking, so I can be strong when all eyes are on me. “Am I okay?” they keep asking and all I want to do is say, “would you be okay?” What is okay? I am sleeping, eating, breathing… I’m alive. Does that make me okay?

I find solace in knowing pieces of them will never leave, pieces will be passed down and down and down. Her famous red velvet cake that we have had at every celebration, his story about what can happen if you eat too much of said cake… I sit here and laugh, but want to cry. I knew when I learned the recipes that this was why.

I knew when I listened to the stories, kept the drawings, cherished the words written that this was why.

I knew that I couldn’t hold on forever, but here I am trying to hold onto anything I can.

I know these words are nothing, but a cry that I won’t let escape. I type them and re-type them, but nothing sounds right.

And just when I thought I wouldn’t know how to end this with a smile I hear a voice that says, “turn on the radio.”

That was all the reminder I needed. We are in better hands, she is in better hands, and while I feel as if the world should stop with me there is hope, there is faith.

Smile.

 

240027855111609098_lPl7TKxO_bTell me a story. A story of love with no end in sight. Tell me how you overcome the backward, unexplainable actions. Tell me how you fall in love and stay there. Tell me.

This is no ordinary love story and really it isn’t my love story to tell, but then again if I don’t tell it who will?

Think about everything you could put a relationship through, every test, every heartbreak and image you still get your happy ending. There were times of silence, times when nothing seemed like they would ever work out again. There were times when everyone gave up and walked away.

How do you overcome that? How do you learn to trust the other person again? I don’t know how personally, but I have seen it. I have seen a relationship put through unimaginalbe things, things that would doom it to fail. You know what though? God brought them back together exactly when the worst things imaginable were happening. He has a funny way of doing that, never early, never late, but always perfect timing.

He brought them back together and then the whole world FLIPPED upside down. We have one in the hospital because of a mystery mass on their brain, the other with two parents on the verge of reaching the other side, and they have each other again. Perfect timing, but more miracles were on the way.

The mass turned out to be an infection, not a tumor or cancer. The parents died within such a short time of  each other they had a joint funeral. The medicine that would keep the one from going to the funeral were cut off on CHRISTMAS DAY and in perfect timing they were both able to go to the funeral.

God sure is great.

Now, you would think, “okay they’ve had enough, time for a break?” No, God isn’t done yet. Two more parents health failing, Alzheimer’s stealing one before they are actually gone, the other so weak any misstep could be the call we all dread. There is a silver lining though and it comes in the form of a promise. A promise that they will never let go of each other. The missteps of the past are exactly that and have been left where they should.

We aren’t meant to understand, we are meant to trust.

Today I am smiling for their love, for my love for them, and for their love for me.