The day before my grandma died, I sat next to her bedside at the hospital and held her hand. We spoke very little, as she was tired and the medication made her thinking a bit fuzzy. At one point, she called out to me. I leaned in close to her, and she whispered, “You know how much I love you.” It wasn’t a question. I responded, “Yes, and I love you too, Grandma.” She nodded. Her last words to me were, “I am so proud of you.” I couldn’t reply. Tears were falling freely and burned my cheeks. My body shook, and she held onto my hand even tighter. The next day, as I was headed to Titusville, my dad called to tell me Grandma died.

The next few days are a blur to me. I remember sitting at the funeral home with my sisters, and I spoke to no one. I nodded when people talked to me, not hearing their words. I was hurting so much, yet I felt nothing. I didn’t cry. I couldn’t. It wasn’t until MaryBeth took my hands in hers and looked me in the eyes that I started to allow the pain to surface. Her face was wet with tears. I remember her telling me, “You know we were her favorites.” I did remember. She told me that once. We are connected to each other and to her was what I remembered thinking at that moment. I didn’t say it though, but I know that MaryBeth felt it too. She held me as I sobbed, and led me to say my final good-bye.

It has been over four years since that day, and the pain is still raw. I was very close to my grandma growing up. We shared stories and secrets over cups of tea with lots of sugar at the kitchen table. I always knew that I could confide in her, and she would not judge me. In many ways, she was my hero. Blinded in her early twenties, she never complained. She cooked, cleaned, and cared for her children and later, grandchildren. She had a strong faith and always believed that the Lord would not give her more than she could handle. I spent most of my life wishing that I could be half as strong as her.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Grandma. I close my eyes and I can see her perfectly, sitting at the kitchen table, mug in hand, smiling at me. If I really try, I can feel her arms around me, holding onto me tightly, and telling me, “You know, I love you.” I love you too, Grandma. We are still connected.

Paper and frame from French Linens Mini Kit- Denise Zavagno, Little Dreamer Designs Scrap Apprentice
Staple- Amanda Rockwell
Stitching- Lissa Warren, Little Dreamer Designs
Inkwell Coffee Paper- Lauren Reid, Little Dreamer Designs
Felt Heart (recolored)- Pattie Knox, Designer Digitals
Tab- Amy Hutchinson, ah! Designs
Aged Alpha- Katie Pertiet, Designer Digitals