It's hard to accept goodbye when it's permanent. When all you wish to do is look them in their eyes, hear their voice, see the rise and fall of their chest..
...and in my case, see her chair rock, her slippers adorning her feet, her favorite blanket across her lap, the occasional sip of coffee, the glances my way.
As I sat with my Grandpa and watched war movies, his favorite, I looked over to where my Grandma would be, and an emptiness settled in. With no chance of a formal goodbye, no chance to share all the final moments and words we longed to, I struggle with disbelief that just a few short days ago, I heard those fateful words, "Your Grandma is gone."
My sweet fiance, Jeremy, flew to what would be the closest version of a childhood home I have, in the mid-west. We spent one on one time with my Grandpa, which was a really special time for me. It was difficult, but it's been 26 years and only took a few days developing a bond that had never really formed previously.
My Grandma heavily disliked my Grandpa's conversation topics of politics, religion, history, and war. She didn't mind him watching it on occasion, but when her grandkids or friends were around, I knew him as a strong silent type. My grandparents spent large parts of my upbringing raising me, so my Grandma was the one I grew closest to.
I took all the photos I could of our trip, although there weren't necessarily many photo ops [all things considered]. Mostly, I captured things I remembered from my Grandma, things I remembered as a child. I will share more of our actual trip and the things we did along the way at a later date.
My Grandma's back porch and flowers. It's been 5 years since I've been here, but my Grandma has always loved her flowers.
|Her carefully selected bottle garden. Unique.|
|My childhood home - if I were to have one.|
|I've been looking at the crystal hanging from my Grandma's car since I was a little girl. It now hangs in mine.|
|My Grandma's caretaker and best friend, Sharlyn and I, at my Grandma's favorite place for lunch.|
|The Hummingbird Tea Room|
|Grandma's cat, Sally.|
|I swam in this lake as a kid. I spent many summers here.|
|When I was younger, this was our favorite lunch spot. Taco Villa. Seriously delicious Mexican food.|
|Dress up in my Grandma's things | Her bedside lamp - she loved things like this.|
|The room where my room used to be. These things have always been there.|
|I was always fascinated that my Grandpa could cut ice cream like this.|
|She could decorate like no other.|
|My spot and my Grandma's|
|Grandma loved her roses.|
I will miss her more than I could ever express. Knowing my Grandma was life changing, for the better. You missed out if you didn't know her. She was an amazing, unique, independent, and strong woman. The world will never be the same.
If you follow me on Instagram, you can see more photos from our trip. We always find a way to have a good time. Check it out!
SIDE NOTE: Jeremy dropped everything and flew with me to visit my Grandpa the day after I found out of our loss. He held me as I've cried, photographed a wedding with me when I had to work the next day, has been the most incredible support system. I am so thankful for our time together. Through good times and bad, our love always prevails. I am fortunate - I know that. I can't thank God enough for bringing him into my life, and although I am nervous beyond belief, I am greatly looking forward to a real wedding day with this man.