As some of you may know, Last Monday I got a call that my grandmother’s house had caught on fire, taking her life and most that she owned. It’s a call I will never forget, I sat there shaking, fearing the worst but also knowing the worst.
For me, she was a huge chunk of who I am. As someone who lost their mother at the age of 4 mos., she stepped in to be someone that I needed, but didn’t know I needed. She took a childhood that could have been marked by pain and fear and shaped it into one of the happiest childhoods one could have. They were full of ice cream and camping trips, childhood performances in livings rooms and long walks. She made every Christmas special and stopped at nothing to see that my brother and I felt loved and secure. When all of the children in the classroom were handing their homemade mother’s day gifts to their moms, my grandma proudly walked through the door to accept mine. When I moved out West, she was the only one who cried, and I knew she meant it, because for her, she was losing a chunk of who she was, for at least a little while.
But on February 24th, at the same time that I was fighting battles over nap times, she was fighting for her life inside her home. There are things that we’ll never know about that day. Things I don’t even want to know, I’m sure.. I have been told she didn’t suffer. Merely went to sleep form the smoke, but I still can’t shake the image from my head, and it hurts. I don’t know what will happen with the house. With the things that she wanted nothing more than for me to have when she went to be with Jesus. I struggle with guilt over that, but there’s nothing I can do. I don’t know the answers, just the questions.
So yeah, there are a lot of things I don’t know.
But, I don’t want to focus on those…
I choose to focus on what I knew.
I know those firefighters are amazing. To risk your life in that way is something incredible. It’s a gift.
I know its a grace that both of my children were fast asleep when i got the call, giving me a rare space of quiet to grieve. What a grace.
I know that she got up at the crack of dawn for a majority of my childhood, just to see me off to school, and as I walked down the road she would call out to me and say, “I love you, wiggle butt.”
That even in my 20’s when the weight of motherhood was on me in a way that I couldn’t bear myself, she spoke over the phone and said those words that I had heard my entire childhood, “Put your arms around you right now, and that’s me hugging you.”
That she was there. Every game, every dance, photo op, every birthday party for me and my kids. She was present. She was a constant. I knew I could call her at anytime, that same number, my whole life, and she was there with her excited, “Hi Sweetie.”
I know that she loved her family so much, that when she lost my mother and my brother it even affected her physically. Her body couldn’t hold the loss. But she kept on…
I know she was stubborn. But she earned it, if you ask me.
I know that I was read a book every night I was there, I could play with any toy I wanted, watch any show I wanted. She made that home a safe haven for me. When I was sick at school, I went there, and I mended.
And I know she’s in heaven. I know she doesn’t hurt. I know she loved me with every ounce of her being. And most importantly, I know I will see her again.
Grandma, you were and are still are a driving force in my life. I’m not sure how I will come out of this, but I know you want me to.
Rest in the sweetest peace there is, Grandma.
I love you.