Side note: Grossma is what we called my Great-Grandmother who lived next door. I believe it is some kinda German/English mix dumbed down for little kids, but I don’t know. That was her name so just go with it.
Today is September 17th. It has officially been 18 years since you passed away. Someone who was born on that day is officially celebrating being an adult, yet I remember it as if it was yesterday.
I remember my mom sitting on the step when I got off the bus, knowing that this was her last chance to tell me before I would get to your house to find you wouldn’t be there.
Since you had gotten sick, I had spent every day after school at your house. I was there reading to you (Do you remember how it took us MONTHS to get through Uncle Tom’s Cabin?), playing cards, working on puzzles, drinking lemonade, watching Sister, Sister… I must have driven your children nuts–when they agreed to stay and take care of you, they had no idea you spent so much of your time following the whims of the 9th grader next door.
I remember throwing my bag on the ground and running, running to your house. She hadn’t even said anything, but I knew, I knew! Mom never greeted me when I got off the bus; it certainly wasn’t going to be anything good.
I remember crying. They had already started to clean up your things. The bed in the living room where you had slept for so many weeks was already gone. “She’s gone to be with Jesus” someone said to me, but I didn’t want you to be with Jesus. I wanted you to be with me.
I remember asking if I could have your lotion. No one wanted it, and they were going to throw it out otherwise. They probably thought I was going to use it, but I didn’t. It’s been 18 years and I still have that lotion. I take it out and smell it when I miss you; and I wear just a little bit of it–enough to have the scent on the back of my hand–when I know I’m going to need you.
I think about you all of the time. I wonder if you would be proud of me, or if you would be disappointed about the situations I’ve gotten myself into over the years. I wish you could have seen me graduate from college, and visited me when I got my very own apartment. And for those bad times, I wish you could have been there to offer your love and support whenever I wasn’t sure if I could love myself.
I wish you could be here to read this blog, to follow this journey with me. To share your limitless wisdom and guidance; to hold my hand when things get difficult or overwhelming; to offer me a glass of lemonade with a spoon when I’ve had a bad day.
I miss you so much. I wish I could sit and visit with you, just one more time, to tell you about my life, and see how beautiful you look with your angel wings and your pretty blue gown.
I love you.