Missing Her

Yesterday I watched a birthday video made for a friend of my parents. Towards the end of the video, my Grandmother appeared to give her birthday message.
Seeing her face, hearing her voice, took my breath away.
I began to cry.
I couldn’t stop crying.
And I’m crying again as I type this.
I’m going to write through it.
Writing. Crying. Crying. Writing.
I miss her.
I miss her voice, I miss her face. I miss her yelling at me. I miss her complaining about how technology is ruining the world. I miss her scolding me for not going to church. I miss her telling me I buy my daughter too many shoes. I miss calling her to ask for cooking advice. I miss her ABC soup. I miss talking to her while she knitted booties for kids in orphanages. I miss the way she used to answer the phone. I miss her telling me the story of how one time I got completely naked and ran through the sprinklers in her front yard. I miss her asking how Tony’s job was going. I miss her telling me how much my Grandpa loved me. I miss hearing her talk about how much her dad loved her.
I miss everything about her.
I’m angry that her last days on this earth were spent suffering with pain while cancer poisoned her insides. I’m angry that I didn’t know that the cancer would take her so quickly. I’m angry she suffered so greatly in her life, miscarrying twice, burying two adult children, and oh, so much more. I’m angry that her suffering would continue in the last days of her life.
Cancer? Really, God? My Grandma spent her entire life serving you, serving others. She was selfless in every sense of the word. She worked hard, every day of her life, caring for others, for a sick husband. She trusted in you, she loved you, she honored you. I never once heard her complain, NOT ONCE. She only spoke of your goodness, your mercy, your love. Even as the cancer was taking over her body and she was in obvious pain, she never once cursed your or questioned you. Well, I’m questioning you. I’m telling you that I don’t understand this “plan” my grandmother spoke. Why would you plan such an awful ending for your good and faithful servant? Help me understand.
The experience of watching my Grandmother die has changed me. One day, I’ll write about it because I need to write about it.
But for now, I need to remember her before the cancer, before she was bound to a chair and a hospital bed and a tank of oxygen.
Her kind soul.
Her loving hands.
Her beautiful voice.
Her wise words.
I don’t want to forget a single thing about her or the moments we shared while she was alive.
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13 thoughts on “Missing Her

  1. daniel

    My question is how did she face the cancer. I wonder if you’re meant to remember that, too. She sounds like a very brave, strong and confident woman. I’m betting she faced the disease with those characteristics.

  2. Nancy P

    ohhhh this is reminding me of my mom who passed way too soon and unexpected last June. She sounds a lot like your Grandma. Missing them sucks big time. BIG TIME.
    Also? what a beautiful picture of the two of you.

  3. Y

    You’re right. She did. She was amazing through it, she never questioned it, never complained about it. Pure strength and grace. I just wish her ending could have been different.

  4. Middle State/MomZombie

    My grandma died in 2005 and I still miss her something fierce. She was an important part of my life and her loss left a big gaping hole in my life and in my heart. The only way I made peace with her loss was to honor her life, to love and live and give and serve and cherish every moment just the way she did.
    (I read you all the time but rarely comment. I just had to say something here today because I felt your pain.)

  5. Connie

    My grandmother died very suddenly just before Christmas last year (2010). I had these same thoughts and questions and anger. But something someone said helped: God didn’t make this terrible thing happen to her, but he did create a beautiful, wonderful place for her to come home to. He didn’t promise a life without pain and hurt, he just promised it would all be worth it in the end. Your grandmother seems like a wonderful lady, and I think she knew that this struggle and pain was just the final chapter of her life here, and that’s why she didn’t question the plan. She trusted that it would be worth it, and my guess is that He delivered. I’m so sorry for your loss…

  6. lani

    I couldn’t help but notice the sign in the background… “God answers knee-mail.” Maybe that’s the key? I lost both my grandparents in much the same way… but even though there was physical pain, I think they were pleased that those last final days and hours brought all their family and love to them… right by their side. You were a part of her “blessing”… you were there by her side. Gabby was there by her side. All those people she loved were by her side… and through all the physical suffering, I bet that brought her greater joy than you will ever know. I do know how you feel, though. Missing them is the hardest part. I am not telling you not to be angry, because that’s a very real and big part of the grieving process. I love your honesty, actually. Hugs.

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