I see you,
dancing in the salty breeze and
along the jut of the horizon.
I feel you,
in the smooth sand beneath my feet and on the firm rocks along the shore.
I hear you,
in the call of the seagulls and in the gentle lap of the waves.
I miss you,
deep within my heart and as the memories of you float through my mind, while I walk along this coastal shore.
My grandmother passed away today at the age of ninety-six. She had been ill for the past six months and our family has been blessed to have the time to spend with her and to show her how much we loved her. As hard as it is to lose someone that I love so much, I feel blessed to have had her in my life for as long as I did. I also know that she has joined my grandfather, the love of her life, and they are together once more.
Saying goodbye to my grandmother has made me think a lot about life. So many of us are so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we forget how truly short our time on earth really is. How many of us step outside ourselves and really think about the person we are or the person we want to be? Do we strive to be present in the moment or do we spend most of our time chasing the mighty dollar? Too many days are filled by rushing from task to task without stopping to enjoy living. It makes me stop and think…our we leaving legacies that we could be proud of?
I hope that I am someone, like my grandmother, who has given more than she has taken. A person who has tried their best to help others, even when it has come with sacrifices. I want to be the type of person that people mourn the loss of and not someone who walked this earth with hate in my heart.
I’ve always said that it isn’t the objects you own or the money you have that people will remember you for when you’re gone, it is the memories and, ultimately, the love that you leave behind. That is truly what’s in a life.
We hear the phrase a lot…just one. Chip companies declare that you can’t eat just one, Heineken claims that he cannot be just one man…the list goes on and on.
Well I think that the phrase, just one, is most suitable when speaking of friends or others in your life that support you. It takes just one person who believes in you, who has your back no matter what or just one person that loves you unconditionally to bring your life to full fruition. I would give up having a dozen people who were in my life only when times were good or when they needed something from me in order to have just one good friend, that person who loves me no matter what and that supports me in life.
I was very fortunate to have that one person. She was my best friend. Her name was Angel and she loved me despite all of my imperfections. She never blinked an eye if I was in sweat clothes with my hair a mess, but was the first person to compliment me when I looked great. She celebrated with me when I had things to rejoice in and she was always there when I needed a shoulder to cry on.
Angel passed away suddenly this past September of a brain aneurism. One minute we were dropping our daughters off at cheering practice and saying goodbye with our typical I Love You’s and in the next moment she was gone. I sat by her hospital bed for days hoping that she would come back to me. I cried more tears than I could ever imagine shedding, but she never returned to me. Her passing left a huge void in my life. My confidant, my friend, my support was no longer physically with me. I was a mess for the first month after her passing until I realized this…she may not be with me in body, yet she lives on in my memories and is with me in spirit. Even now, I still hear her laughter and words weaving through my mind and in my heart.
At first, I thought that I might grow angry over having had my best friend taken from me so young, but I soon realized that I wasn’t angry, but something completely different. I was thankful, so entirely thankful that I had her in my life, if only for just a short while. Because I would gladly give up the rest of my life filled with tons of people who didn’t really love me for me, for the little time I had with just one…my best friend. I got to experience so much with her in just a span of a few years that if I never find another friend like her I will still leave this earth knowing that one person, just one, truly loved me for who I am and that is enough for me.
Because no matter where you are in your life’s journey, all you really need is just one. Just one person who makes a huge difference in your life, who loves and supports you through thick and thin…just one.
When I think of family, I not only think of my relatives, but ultimately, I think of those around me that I love dearly and who are not related by blood. My family is made up of, in part, people that I have met over the years and that I have grown to love and respect no less than my traditional family. I have laughed, cried, and created memories with these friends and each of them holds a special place in my heart and in my life.
When I look back at how I met these special friends it amazes me to think of how seamlessly complete strangers found their way into my life and, eventually, into my heart. It may have started with a common interest, but then grew through shared experiences and trust until we were tightly bound together. If you think about it that’s also the way that we bond to our blood relatives.
What is wonderful about building a non traditional family, is that we never have to stop growing it. Each new phase of our life might welcome new friends and there is always the potential that you will connect to someone on that deeper level and sprout a new branch on your family tree.
A woman like no other,
Short in stature, but large in personality.
Devote Catholic, beatific in her own way.
Plentiful with humor, and in laughter.
Strong and determined at her end of days.
Remembrance of times gone by,
Southern Bell accents, snips of forbidden plants.
Shrimp in purses, metal detector hunts,
Summer days, lottery tickets and crazy gallivants.
Red lipstick, makeup expertly applied.
A grandmother who didn’t have to be.
She of fiery temper and determined ways.
Unconditional love like no other.
My grandmother…blessings to thee.