I miss you even though you’re not yet gone.
When I was little, you were always there—never missing a game or an event, always good for a hug that wrapped around my whole body and warmed me from the inside out. Smart and strong, someone to be depended on. A role model that any young girl would be grateful to have. You taught me that family was the most important thing. You showered us with time and attention, instead of things, knowing that later down the road, we would remember you coming to baseball games with your steno pad over any gift you could’ve ever given us.
You knew that now, all these years later, we would appreciate how many times you showed us you loved us just by being there. That our hearts would be full of memories that can never be erased. I couldn’t be more thankful.
You were the strongest person I knew. The steadiest person. The one that knew that life goes on, that there will be bumps and bruises, both physically and mentally. But at the end of the day, you approached life with a smile on your face and an understanding that life’s imperfections are what make it great.
And as I grew, I started to appreciate your example more and more. To lean on you for guidance and acceptance. To look to you for love and support, knowing there was no one on the planet that could hold me up quite like you.
You battled cancer. You battled your heart. You battled and won, in everything. I never doubted your strength. You were invincible.
And yet I miss you now. You’re still so strong, even though your body is giving up. You put on a good face, but I can see you doubting your own resolve. And it scares me. It scares me to see your frailty growing each time I come to visit. It scares me to hear you doubt yourself, when you’ve never doubted before. You disappear a little bit every time I see you, and it feels like I’m losing you. Like I can’t hold on, I can’t grip. I’m watching you slipping through my fingers, and it breaks me. My rock, my solid force. My invincible stability.
You’re no longer the perfect, idealized version of you I’ve always seen. You’re no longer invincible. But I love you now more than ever, now that I see how human you truly are. And yet you still provide the calm I need. You’re still my go-to. I still look up to you, even when my head tilts down to speak to you in your wheelchair, as we slowly walk the hall to supper.
And every time I leave, I’m afraid it will be the last time I see you. But every time I leave, I’m also reminded of the powerful force you’ve been in my life for so many years. Still, I know I’ll see you soon, either in person or in a way you’ve influenced how I live.
To my resilient grandmother: I miss you now, but I feel you always.