I know you’re hurting, and I wish I could take your pain away. I wish there was a way to get rid of all of it for you and for grandpa. I would take it all in a heartbeat. It’s been so long since I’ve seen the real you. It saddens me every day.
I think back to the good days. When me and Ally would sit in the kitchen as kids, eating dinner. We weren’t allowed to laugh because we were supposed to be eating but we loved to laugh and hear your responses. The fact that us laughing made you and grandpa mad made it even harder to not laugh. And you know that when you try not to laugh it makes you want to laugh more. I think of all of the times you and grandpa took us to Hometown Buffet. Those were the days. Ally and I’s favorite days were the weekends. We got so excited to come to your house. To play baseball with you and grandpa, to play school with all of the notebooks, markers, folders, coloring books, and the whiteboard you had. To climb in the trees outside and act as if we were in another world somewhere. Your house was our favorite. It was so big and we had so much room outside to play pretend. And at the end of the day we would take our bath together, me and Ally, and I think our favorite part had to be you and grandpa drying us off and drying our hair with the towel. Then we would get into our pajamas and you guys would tuck us in. You would even leave the light on in the hall so we wouldn’t be scared. You would bring us extra blankets from the big closet in the hall, which was blanket and pillow heaven. You even kept my favorite pink blanket when I got rid of it, after puking all over it from getting car sick. And you still use it to this day. Mom always said no tv before bed, but you would let us watch it for a little and come back later to turn it off. You would hear me and ally stay up for hours talking in the bedroom and you wouldn’t get mad at us, you would let us be. You came to every basketball game and other sport events. You and grandpa even yelled at my 7th grade coach after our first game of the season, because he made me sit the bench the whole game. You would always stop by the house on your guys’ way to the casino for good luck. You always got me and Ally matching pajamas every Christmas. Even though I knew what I was getting every year, I couldn’t wait for you and Grandpa to come over so we could open your presents. You always put up your big huge tree, with the white fence around it, the fake fluffy snow, the ornaments, and your whole house would be filled with little ceramic villages in every room, with lights and little fake people, and fake snow. That was one of my favorite parts of Christmas, to walk into your house and be fascinated by all of the different ceramic houses, shops, and buildings. It was like a whole little Christmas world I never knew existed. And every Thanksgiving and Christmas, you were always in the kitchen helping mom with whatever she needed. Everytime I walked into your house, no matter what time of year, you always had our school pictures in nice frames right behind the door. You always loved to show off your “cute grandkids”. You can Poppa hung up many swings many different times, just so me and Ally would have something fun to do in the backyard. You and Poppa got us a “Green Machine” little three-wheeler and those were some of the best times me and Ally ever had. You would always play your records in the dining room. I learned all of the Abba songs, Dolly Parton, and Reba because of you. And you would watch me and Ally play our “Finding Nemo” memory game. You had that little dresser with the flowers on it in the hallway that slid open and had all of our board games in it. You always told me to never fight with Ally and to always be nice. You always said that whatever we were arguing about wouldn’t matter the next day or even in a few hours. Now as a 20 year old adult, I can tell you, you were right and I should’ve listened to you. You always took my side when I would complain about Mom and Dad being mean. You would tell me that it’ll all be okay in time. You would always let me tell you about my boyfriends, even if there was a new one every week. And you would remember them when I came back to tell you about them again within the next few days or week or two. You even supported me and loved me when I told you I was dating a girl, even though you and grandpa have very stern views about stuff like that. You told me not to cry and that you still loved me and supported me no matter who I liked or who I dated. And you both promised not to tell my parents. And you were so on board when I got back with my high school crush, even when the rest of the family didn’t think it was a good idea.
You always had my best interest at heart. You only wanted what was best for me and frankly, you always wanted what I wanted for me. No one, other than you and Grandpa, showed me support like that. You always listened, no matter if it was work, school, relationships, or even drama. You were always so proud of me, no matter if it was as simple as making a free-throw at a basketball game or getting a good score in school, to every new job I got and every life goal I was getting closer to accomplishing. You always told me to stay in college even if I didn’t want to go or didn’t know what I wanted to do. And you supported me when I skipped out for a semester.
I wish I could talk to you again. I wish I could see the real you again. You were always my person. I got so excited to tell you my news, even the smallest things. I got so excited to see your smile as soon as I walked into the house. You and Grandpa always told me and Ally how beautiful we were and you made sure we never forgot it, even on our worst days.
If I could talk to the real you one more time, I would tell you how beautiful you are, inside and out. I would tell you how much you mean to me. I would tell you how much you taught me and showed me. I would tell you that I’m scared. I would tell you I’m scared to see what life would be without you. I never wanted to figure that out. As a kid, I never thought of you or Grandpa dying, I thought you’d be around forever. As I got older, I knew it would come sometime but I didn’t think it would be soon. I would tell you that Grandpa will be fine, and that we will take care of him. I would tell you to go to dialysis and do whatever the doctors say, for you and for us, no matter how hard it got. Because a world without you in, just isn’t a complete world.
I would hug you so hard and not let go if I knew it was the last time. I wish God would give you back to us, but I know the world doesn’t work that way. So until we meet again, I will remember those moments we had. I won’t ever let them slip my mind. I won’t let the memory of the real you leave my mind. I will always remember you as my beautiful grandma that never stopped smiling. Thank you for always treating me like a kid. I might not have appreciated it back then when I wanted to be older and an adult so bad. But I do now more than ever. I’m so grateful that you and Grandpa never treated us like adults. You always said “no matter how old you get you will always be my baby”. I will always remember that line and keep it in the back of my mind at all times.
I want you to know that it’s okay to let go. I know you’re in pain. I know you’re hurting. I know you’re tired of fighting. I know you want to be here with us but we understand. So if you want to let go, you can. I will never forget you. And I will make a promise to you. I promise to always remember you happy. I won’t let now be my last memory of you, even though it is. I will push it away and remember the good times. I’ll think of Hometown Buffet, and the card games, and the play school, and the records playing in the background.
Everything I do, I will do for you. I promise I will make you proud. I will do everything in my power to be successful and become a beautiful person, just like you. I love you Grandma. This is for you.