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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 have lots of time to myself lately, which is good and bad. It is good because I am starting to realize the important things without being clouded by what is going on around me. It is bad because I tend to over think.

Tonight when I was getting into bed I looked at the pictures I have lining a window behind me. There are two of my grandfather and I thought to myself that is how I want to remember him, happy. I want to remember him when he remembered himself still. I want to remember him before the disease took over. I hate that people judge him for how he acts now and just wish they knew the man I know. I wish they could hear the stories I got sick of hearing.

His writings are everywhere… and now even the writings are sad. When I was last there he had a note out saying… I’m out smoking about all I can do. Before his writings were filled with such passion and things I’m not sure I want to know about the war, about his feelings towards my dad, or about life in general.

It seems so unfair that we can live in this world a lifetime and then lose it all, but our lifetime not be over. It seems so tragic. It makes me wonder what is the purpose of this illness that rots your mind? Is surely isn’t for the person who is “lost.” Which means it is for those of us they leave behind. What is the lesson? And does that lessen the blow?

I ask this question, but have no answer. I wish I did, I wish I could make this all easier and better, but it isn’t. This is the hand God dealt my family. This is what brings us together, this is what makes us stronger.

Today I am smiling for the love my family has.

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.