I’ve been dreading writing this letter since I decided to take this 30 day challenge. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write you, it’s just I would much rather be able to talk to you face to face. This coming January will be 12years since you left and I still miss you. I miss you so much. I still remember the day your sister broke the news to us. It was a Tuesday. I was at school in gym class when I got a note telling me to go to the office. When I got to the office, my mom and Aunt Felecia were standing there waiting on Shannan and I to take us home. Initial I was mad, it was game day and I wanted to cheer. I couldn’t understand why they were making me leave early on game day of all days. We drove out to your house where Aunt Addie was waiting. I heard Aunt Felecia say “I can’t do it, you tell them.” Aunt Addie then said, “Well she’s gone, your grandma is gone.” I promise it felt like I died. I heard the words she’d said. I saw the reaction from my cousins. I saw the tears falling from my moms eyes. But it wasn’t adding up. I couldn’t grasp the concept of living life without you. I had just seen you the night before…nothing was making sense. I mean NOTHING. I remember them telling us that you had about 6-8weeks to live, it had barely been two, so why were you gone?!?!?
I have to be honest with you…I was extremely mad at you for the longest time. I felt like you gave up. I remember overhearing my aunts talk about you not wanting to go through a second round of chemotherapy because of the way you felt after the first round. I couldn’t understand that. I felt like you quit on me. I felt like you knew you were leaving me to all alone to find my way in the world. I had never been mad at you before, but the moment you died, I felt so much bitterness and resentment. The older I got, I realized that you were just exhausted. You had fought all you could and you were ready for some rest. Once I began to look at it like that, I was okay with you leaving me. I was okay with the 13 years we’d shared together. I felt blessed that out of all your grandchildren I was the one that was able to live with you for 3 and a half years. I went from being so angry to immediately feeling so blessed.
I felt like you and I shared a bond that was shared with no other grandchild. Yes, you loved us equally, but I was able to experience that love first hand on a daily basis. I was the one you woke up daily to get ready for school. I was the one in the kitchen with you learning how to cook. Which you will be happy to know…I’m pretty good at. I was the one you had scrubbing the walls. I didn’t understand it then and I felt like you were just torturing me, but you were right….A man does not want a nasty woman. Even as the tears stream down my face, at this very moment, I find peace in all the memories we shared together. All the talks we had about life in general. I laugh every time I think about laying on your bed and you letting one fierce one rip then yelling “get that rat”. Or you trying to cuss at my mom. Hey grandma I’m not one to cuss but I don’t think it’s correct cussing (if there is such a thing) to say, “wait a shitting ass minute”
So much has happened in the years since your passing. I’ve graduated from both high school and college. Danced on stages across America. And I’ve even danced in Africa. Can you believe that? Me, grandma, the one they said couldn’t do it, I’m really living part of my dream! I know you had something to do with it, so thank you. Oh and you were right. You always said my mom would come around. She did it; she’s clean and sober and has been for over 10 years. I remember hearing you pray for her and telling me to do the same. Even when I said I didn’t care anymore and that I just wanted you to be my mom. You told me that she would get her act together. It’s crazy because I lost you in January 1999 and not long after my mom was back and better than ever. I know you had something to do with that didn’t you? You knew I needed at least one of you to survive. Thanks grandma. Thank you for all the wonderful memories. Thank you for stepping in when my mom stepped out. Thank you for not forcing me to travel with my dad. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for always making sure I had whatever I needed for school, even it if meant sacrificing something else. Thank you for always straightening my hair even while battling Parkinson’s. No one could do it like you. I would cut up when my mom tried to straighten it, but as soon as you took over I would just sit there. Thank you for fighting for me when I couldn’t fight for myself. Thank you for teaching me how to pray. I feel like I owe you my life. I know God has been on my side, and I would be nothing without Him. But I don’t know where I would be without your love and guidance either. I know you would probably tell me to “hush all that noise” right about now…I promise they are not tears of sadness, rather they are tears of joy. Joy from all the happy times I was able to spend with you. Joy from knowing that you’re no longer suffering. Joy because I can still hear your bedroom shoes sliding across the floor in my dreams. Joy because I can still hear you yelling, “stop slamming my door!” Joy because I can still see your face and hear your laughter in my head. Joy because I know you did what you did for me. I love you grandma and I’m so appreciative of the time we had. I hope I’m making you proud.
Sorry Grandma, but those glasses were hideous
Loving you Always,
PS- Don’t forget, you told me that you would dance at my wedding. Now, I’m not sure when that will be, but whenever it is, I hope you’re ready to cut a rug.