Grandma’s Favorite

This past week has brought hell for me with tragedy stirring up my PTSD, stresses of life, and the overwhelming feeling of being alone. I think people underestimate the depths of loneliness that comes from widowhood. I could be in a room full of people who love and care for me and still feel alone. It’s no surprise that when I struggle, the loneliness amplifies because there is no-one there to sit with me. It doesn’t take much really, to be there for someone. It really only takes wanting to be there. No words are perfect, no actions can take away the grief but pure presence and maybe a hug or two can lighten the load.

It was all compounded by the already mix of emotions from Josh’s birthday and upcoming Christmas season. Holidays are still hard but we manage. Heck, everyday is still tough, but here we are, rocking it out.

My mom recently saw a post on my facebook and could tell I needed a little inspiration….now if you know my mother and I, you can just about imagine what this inspirational gesture could have been. While what I received was not at all what I figured it could have been, it was so much more than I could have ever imagined.

I was recently asked who the most influential person was in my life, while I have two, my Grandmother ranked #1. For so many reasons she is and always will be my #1. This is not to take away from my mother whom I also look up to but there’s a special bond with my grandmother that no-one, not even she would deny. I will always be Grandma’s favorite. My grandmother was beautiful, patient, kind and loving. She was wise and genuine. She was my biggest fan, best friend and always believed I would do much with my life. She has had such a huge impact on who I am today and I am forever grateful

Grandma Hattie passed away just weeks before I lost Josh. I still remember the call, walking back into Josh’s room in the ICU and Josh mustering up enough strength to lift his arm so I could come in for a hug. I didn’t even have to say she was gone because he could see it in my eyes. Losing two of my favorite people within a few weeks was heart shattering. It definitely turned the page to new chapters I never thought I’d have to write.

Which leads me to a song I stumbled upon entitled “Chapters” by Brett Young and Gavin Degraw. The bridge goes :

” Truth is that we all got stories
Gotta fail on your way to glory
Takes time tryna get it right
But every future has a past
And right now I can hear God laughin’
Guess he must have heard my plans
And my odes, thought it was a joke
Gave me more than I could ask
And I wish I knew back then, oh”

In this song they sing about every page you turn being a lesson learned and my how many lessons I have learned whether I wanted to or not. I know there are some chapters I want to write but the timing isn’t right yet. We always wonder what will happen next and if you’re anything like me, you try to plan and know what’s around the corner but how can we?

I find it no coincidence that just days after I discovered this song, my mother mailed me a card and as I mentioned, it wasn’t just any card. It was a card my grandmother wrote out before her death and told my mother to give to me when I needed an extra boost. The card, marked with many underlined portions for me to pay attention to, tells me to “stay strong” and “have hope”. To be “patient”, “inspired”, “gentle”, “optimistic” and to always believe in “happy endings”. I am the author of my own story and I choose to be strong, optimistic, hopeful and give it all I’ve got. Above all, I will continue to believe in happy endings. I always have, and always will.

She left me with a note that I will hold dearest to my heart:

To my favorite granddaughter,

Follow your dreams and never give up.

I’ll always be there for you.

Be happy and loving to everyone.

She really was a saint that woman. We spent so much time together and thats when I first realized the value of time. Not many people get as many years with their grandparents as I did with mine and I am ever so grateful. She was the best and I was grandma’s favorite.

My mother could not have picked a more perfect time to finally send this to me. I have felt like I’ve held things together pretty well since Josh died but sometimes I begin to come unglued and it’s a really dark place that’s hard to crawl out of. Change is scary and not knowing what is to come is scary too. The Lord says not to worry but I find myself in a constant state of just that. I want to be good at all things and I want to be loved beyond this grief. There is so much left unwritten in these chapters but sometimes it’s difficult not knowing how the page will end up.

It’s hard to live in a life you didn’t plan. We all have our wants list of where we want to be by when and I can assure you, “widow at 29” was never on my life goals. However, I can still hope for a happy ending and pray that one day someone will love me through this pain because it never will go away, nothing will make it better, but just because I am grieving, doesn’t mean I am not lovable. Just because I have weak moments, doesn’t mean I am not strong. And just because I cry sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t believe that a happy ending is yet to come.

I will always take each page as it comes and take a deep breath when I feel frustration rising. I will lean not on my own understanding but on God’s plan. I will live by my grandmothers advice and rest knowing that not only am I God’s child, but I am always Grandma’s favorite.