There you are, and there I am…27 years ago…shaping dough I’ve undoubtedly dyed with enough of each color to make a disgusting-looking blob of gray. I suppose I thought I would have those sugar cookies all to myself that way. How many times did I try that trick? It never worked, but after a dough-eating-induced bellyache, I didn’t much care who ate them, anyway. The joy was in the making, in the time we spent together, the flour-coated afternoons in your kitchen.
In later years, your house would be my Safe Place. I could leave the pain and awkwardness of a school day behind me, and feel a bit lighter with every step from the bus stop to your front door. Every hateful moment washed away when you called me Lovebug and set me up with some pine nuts to nibble on while I did my homework.
It was always that way, so comforting to be with you.
In later later years, there were many personal struggles I did not share with my loved ones. I battled alone and somehow still expected everyone to understand me while I guarded carefully the faces I showed. I made impulsive decisions…my demons led me to believe I was entitled to be entirely selfish. And I was. And as undeserving as I felt, you always loved me, anyway. I never took that for granted.
The day after Christmas, I looked into your eyes and there were so many things I wanted to tell you, forgiveness I wanted to ask for, love I desperately wanted to express. The tears that roll down my cheeks as I write are full of all my unspoken words.
I ache for how you must have suffered this past year. I ache for Grandpa, who poured all his being into taking such good care of you and who now will have to learn how to continue on his life’s journey without your physical presence. As much as I ache for all of us who will miss you, I take comfort that you are released from pain. I take comfort that you are all around me, that all the ways you touched my life are within me always and there is nothing can take that away.
I love you, Grandma. May you peacefully rest.