Hi, Grandma

Friday, August 23, 2019

For the first time in over three years, I opened the photos I took of my mom on the last day I saw her.

I looked at each picture and I managed to do this without completely falling apart. I paid attention to the details I intentionally captured. Her medical chart. The "get well" balloons next to her hospital room window. Justin sitting beside Ava in the excessive medical attire we had to wear for isolation purposes. I don't have many regrets from that visit but something has always bothered me... my mom never got a chance to hold Olivia. I am thankful that she was able to lay eyes on her second born granddaughter... but she was too sick to hold my (then) 3 week old and I wish she could have. Here lately the girls have been asking so many more questions about my mom. Sometimes I have an answer ready and other times I don't.

I don't want to lie to my kids and I also don't want them to be oblivious to the fact that loss happens. Yesterday we discussed heaven in more specific detail than ever before. My faith is not something I've openly discussed in detail on my blog. That's in large part because for the last few years, I have struggled in this area. Yesterday was the first time I talked to my girls about their "angel grandma" and the space in the clouds we always reference. I talked to them about God, Jesus, and how one day we will see my mom again. I felt conviction in each and every word. It isn't easy. I imagine it won't ever be easy, but it is a start. I let them ponder on the information I gave them while they ate the rest of their lunch. Ava started talking about Princess Elena (Elena of Avalor) and how they celebrated and reunited with her parents during the day of the dead (dia de muertos). She asked if we could do that too... I told her that dia de muertos was a cultural belief and one that I knew very little about. Their great grandma called just as Ava was about to reply (I was thankful for that).

Instead of only focusing on where their grandma is now, I decided to try and bring some personable things out. Tangible things. Things to show them that she was once here with us. I have to dig up some of my mom's old clothes, but in addition to that, we have voicemails, some video footage, and hand written notes. Today I figured out how to convert my old voicemails into MP3s so I can keep them on the computer forever. It's moments like these that I'm thankful for technology. I found a voicemail my mom left for Ava. I know she will treasure it. The girls heard me playing this audio and Olivia tried to say "Hi, grandma!" .... happy tears ran down my face. It was the first time she'd ever been able to say those words to my mom. Granted, it isn't the same, but its a moment I will hold onto for the rest of my days.

We miss you, Mom.

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