For many years now, I have found that many people mourn many different ways. I have done a little bit of research on mourning to see if I was even doing it right. I have to say…I am not and to put it bluntly; I no longer care. If you are questioning yourself on the same subject, my recommendation: stop! Stop now before you drive yourself insane. Stop now because it makes the mourning process tougher. Stop now and come to the conclusion that you are human!
I decided I needed to take to writing today because it’s 2017 and along with many changes I am making…for some reason I have decided to take a long trip down memory lane. I didn’t take a fun pack your bags and visit old landmarks trip…I did the nitty gritty go through emails, newspapers and court records trip. I have to say it was a brutal trip but it was well worth it.
My trip helped me to remember who I am and how I arrived where I am today. It is truly amazing I have survived but I did it with vast accomplishments under my belt…so far. During this trip I also realized there are some things I need to say. These are things I want the world to hear…from me.
Being that this is and will be one of the hardest things I have ever had to write…I will begin with this:
In a few days it will be my grandfather’s birthday. He had so many success stories for his journey through life. I think his biggest success story is his family. Him and my grandma worked very hard to raise loving, caring, considerate and tough children. Thankfully the lessons passed down to his children would continue for generations to come. I am one of the oldest of the grandchildren and I have so many fond memories with him. He was the man that I crawled in next to in order for me to sleep without worry. He was the man that stood there in the livingroom jingling his change in his pocket and would lovingly share his change with a little me so that I could jingle too. He had a smile that would force smiles out of anyone, no matter how they were feeling at the time. He placed claims against my grandmother, all in fun, that made me laugh so hard I am sure it echoed throughout the state. For my family I will even add in: the snake incident, the prayers, scratch, and jerk. (If you knew him well enough…you would understand) He was a great man and left behind even greater memories and lessons.
Shortly after his birthday, my mom’s will follow. Sadly we all lost her young. Many folks knew her far and wide. They knew her to be strong, loving, sarcastic and competitive. Unfortunately, they didn’t know her like I did…not even our family. She was those things, without question…but she was so much more. She was protective. She was an amazing cook. She was stern. She took time out of her life to be my softball coach and she was damn good at it. She was able to motivate me and my friends when all we wanted to do was lay around and watch tv. She always strived for more, for better. When she got sick, she fought. When she wanted to give up, she listened to an imaginative 10 year old. She had faith in me when most everyone else only wanted to. She had a love and bond with both of her children that just could not ever be replaced. She worked hard at anything she set her mind to. When she was to be a grandma, she wanted to be known as Nana but my oldest couldnt quite pronounce it right…so she was dubbed “Nina” and still is to this day. When we went camping, she always made me laugh while packing…she had to have her air mattress, fan and so on. She couldnt rough it like the rest of us could but she was a really good sport for us kids. When it came time for the machine to be setup, she paid no attention because she was too busy paying attention to the birthday girl, her second granddaughter. Her and I had jokes about her being tatted up. We had jokes about her bandanas. We even had jokes about me running laps and my sunburns. We shared so many adventures and experiences. My mom is definitely an irreplaceable mom and no matter how hard I try, words will never be able to explain what she was, is and will always be to me.
Next is my other grandfather. He was a great man as well. (I am and was truly blessed to be born into two well rounded families). He worked hard and was a wonderful provider. He always had a joke to tell and a glass to offer. He was good to my grandma and great to his grandchildren. He allowed us kids to run in and out as we chased each other and played as kids. He even loved having his great grandchildren around. He was another person who added to the long list of people who had a huge impact in my life.
I have learned to accept that these three very special people will no longer be around for hugs, laughs, jokes, or anything. But I have also learned that if I think…just for a moment…I can feel them there. I truly could not have asked for better than them.
So…mourn how you need to. Stand up and scream. Lay down and cry. Sit down and remember. But whatever you do…never forget. Never forget the memories shared. Never forget the love or bond you had. And if you must…take that moment and see if you can feel them near.
To my mommy and both grandpas: I love you all and will never forget!