Today, I miss my grandmother

I have always gone through life with some odd sense of separation. People come into your life – or mine, as the case may be – and they go. In mine, they more often go than come. My mother left when I was 3. My brother died when I was 5. Aunts and Uncles came, and for various reasons, later went. My grandmother (who raised me as her own child) died in 1998 when I was 22. My dad died in 2004. No grandfathers. No Norman Rockwell family. They just come, and then… they go.

My friend Renee once told me I had no soul. That was a few years ago, and it still sticks with me. She was from a very close-knit, very Godly family.  Someone she loved dearly was deathly ill, and all I knew in my own life was that people went, and you moved on. And here was this sweet friend who was literally shattered, and all she knew was to hold on. I was recommending that she do all I knew how to do, and it wasn’t the right thing for her. It wasn’t that I had no soul. It’s just that I was better at letting go than most.

At one point, my husband worked night shift, so I was alone in the evenings. I found myself
imagining he was already gone (as in, 6-feet-under-type-gone), how I would react, and what I would do first to shield the children, to go on with life. Would I work? How soon after? Would I retreat to a cabin in the woods, just the kids and I? Would I buy a horse and some acreage and go ride whenever I felt the need to break down? Maybe I would plunge back into everyday, letting my friends lift me up from whatever despair I would be in. I made a mental list of who I would call. I always imagined he would be zapped and gone, like everyone else had, not that he would have a disease that slowly took the life from him. Yet he wasn’t dead, so why did I feel the need to already begin prepping myself? So that when that day did come, it would be less heartache? To let go little by little, instead of instantaneous shock, as had been with everyone else? I didn’t even realize I was doing it, until the day I realized I was doing it. And then I made myself stop.

But here it is today. No one has died. In fact, I have some joyous news. My sweet angel of a daughter has asked Jesus to be her Savior. This is fantastic! Except the one person who I want to talk about it with is gone. My grandmother. She was the one who taught me all about her Jesus. Who showed me how to have faith in God, and who encouraged me to know Jesus as a living friend, not as someone you read about in a book. And it is her that I want to ask “What now? How do I teach my daughter this? How did you teach it to me?” I feel clueless. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about me at all. But rather, how do I help my ‘Angel Bear’ know who Jesus is so that she can know Him the way my grandmother did? And, the way I do.

So I miss her. Which is new for me. I miss the people in my life currently when they aren’t around, but rarely, if ever, do I miss those who have gone on ahead. I think about them, because they helped shape my life in some way or another, but it’s not often a sadness.  I don’t know why, when they go, they’re just… gone. But I miss her today. I wish I could ask her what my next step should be, how do I shepherd my daughter’s heart? Should we have a celebration dinner? I wish I could share with her how much my daughter is just like me, and how my grandmother’s own prediction “Just you wait, you’ll have one just like you” came to pass.  I’d ask her if I should celebrate AB’s new birthday, as some friends do? Or do I just continue as I have been, to share with AB when something pricks my heart, when I feel an urge to pray, when I’m sad and only Jesus can comfort me, and that when I’m scared at night like she is, I still sing Jesus Loves Me to go back to sleep?

I haven’t a clue, but I’m sure those are good starts. For now, I’ll do exactly as my grandmother did – live her faith out every single day. Never perfect, just real, and true, and evident.  And I know that should I leave this earth before my daughter, whenever that time happens to be, she can pass the faith of her mother on to her children too, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be around then for her to ask me herself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *