I was thinking about you today. I’m twice as old now as I was when you died, and I still miss you just as much as I did then.
I remember my dad’s birthday one year; you and I went shopping for a birthday present for him. You suggested getting a steering wheel cover, and we bought it and gave it to him. I cried so much when my dad said it wasn’t something he would use – not because I was upset that he wouldn’t use it though. I was crying because I didn’t want you to have your feelings hurt, since it was your idea. I’m sorry I never had the courage to tell you that while you were still here, because I knew you felt so bad for me because I was crying. It still makes me cry today. I never wanted to disappoint you.
I have so many good memories of times we spent together; going to feed geese at the park; garage sales; eating a bag of skittles in your truck after going to an auction; the orange tic-tacs you always had around; watching you do crossword puzzles; and you reading me children’s books and Bible stories. I remember the time you put a couple of packing peanuts in a jar of water and making them disappear. It wasn’t until years later that I finally figured out how you did that trick. I only remember one time when you got frustrated with me, and you didn’t even yell or get upset. I wish I could be more like you.
I know you and Grandmom never approved of tattoos, but my fascination with them makes me hope that you’d be ok with mine. As someone once said, “Scars remind us where we have been, but not who we are” (J. Diaz). I know you were ashamed of yours because they reminded you of your former life, but I always think of you when I see them because your story gives me hope for my own mistakes and for those of others.
You were and are my hero in so many ways. At your memorial service we sang “Victory in Jesus,” which is still my favorite hymn because it was one of your favorites. I think of you when I see or wear plaid flannel shirts, when I drive your old pick-up truck, when I do crossword puzzles (which I got my love of from you), when I eat orange tic-tacs, when I make stew in a crock-pot (although it’s never as good as yours was), and when I smell sawdust (cause it reminds me of your work shed by the old house). I did my EMT clinical at the hospital you stayed at in North Kansas City, wishing that I could walk into a room and see you one more time. I wish I had gotten the chance to know you better, to hear your stories, learn about your life experiences and spend more time with you. I wish I could give you one more hug, tell you one more time how much I love you and miss you.
Thanks for always loving me and everyone in our family. I hope if you saw me today, you’d still be proud of me.
Love your granddaughter,