I am because you were

Today would’ve been either your 85th or 86th birthday depending on which document or story you refer to. Either way, today is your birthday. And today I am sad like I have been sad since I ever considered your death and the fear of how devastated I would be when that day came. I started feeling sad about that fateful day years and years before it ever arrived. I do that with everyone and everything these days. I start feeling the sadness of the death or loss of that person as soon as I realize I love them. I have even done that with my dog. I’ve already come to realize I’ll maybe only have 13 or so years with him before he’s gone and I will be sad about his death. I’ve already mentally prepared myself. My relationship, I already know that one day, whether it’s soon or not until the day one of us passes, it will end. And it makes me sad. I realize this sounds depressing or grim, but it is what I do for now. It also makes sure I don’t ever take a moment for granted as every second shared is a second gained and a memory made that deepens the connection which carries us longer together. Every single second counts. And because I know it will end one day, I make sure to savor those moments even with the undercurrent of sadness of the inevitable.

With the times we shared in the last years I knew that your days were numbered grandma. I knew that after grandpa died it wouldn’t be too long thereafter we would have to say goodbye to you. But this is thing… losing you to the monster of death just rips me to my core. It reminds me that no matter how lovely, wise, good gardener, good cook, loving Christian, generous and kind, death robs us of our life and leaves holes in the hearts and lives of the people who love us. There will always be a piece of my life missing because you are gone. I know it’s childish to wish for invincibility or long for more time when we aren’t in control and the human body is fallible and weak. But God do I wish I could’ve had one more day. One more memory. One more time to watch you wrestle my son or race him in the parking lot. One more chance to learn a recipe from you. One more chance to watch you tend to the garden or complain about one of the kids.

I am because of you. Because you lived I too am alive. Because of the life you lived I am more whole and more able. Because of you and your persistence I have a drive that is endless. I aim to be a good gardener and have the green thumb you so easily possessed. I aim to create a legacy of love and goodness that you left for me. The good stories I get to tell my son from my childhood are because of you. The good lessons I have learned came from you and your example. Because of your generous spirit you gave and provided for me for many years. I’ll always remember and always be grateful.

Grandma, I know a birthday in heaven isn’t quite the same and I know you have arrived where you’re supposed to be. But I can’t help but be sad and wish for all the time I still want with you and want time for my son and all the other great-grandkids who now can’t know you like we did.

I keep seeing these damn cardinals all over my yard and home and I feel your presence. I don’t know why but I feel your spirit with each visit I get from them. It might be silly to some but I have to know that you’re still here in some way. That your spirit still exists in this realm in some way. That you are not gone. That because you were, you still are and there’s a permanence to your existence.

My birthday and Mother’s Day happen to fall on the same day this year and it will also be two months exactly that you’ll have passed. I don’t know the significance of that beyond the alignment of such things. I do know that because you lived I have life. Because you are my mothers mother then this Mother’s Day is a little emptier than usual but serendipitously because you’re my mothers mother then I am and I am my sons mother who is the shining star of my life. And without you there would be no me, and no me there like be no him and he is good and will do great things in life.

Thank you for existing. Thank you for being the you that you were in this life and giving what you did. I am grateful for you in so many ways. 🎉❤️ Happy birthday in heaven, grandma. 85, 86, of 39 again, have a blast celebrating you and God breathing life into your lungs and wooing you into existence. 🎉

Hole-fully,

The Repressed Peach