goodbye, my grammies

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Earlier this week, I bought a last minute pair of tickets to the NFC playoff game on January 10, my beloved Seahawks against the Carolina Panthers, in CenturyLink field here in Seattle.

I geared up, navigated my way to SoDo, attended a 12th Man tailgater, and then made my way over to the stadium. Just before heading to my seats, I checked Facebook.

Which is when I found out that my grammies passed away yesterday morning.

Being in the middle of thousands upon thousands of screaming Seahawks fans and bawling your eyes out over the loss of your grandmother is an experience that I’m glad I won’t ever have to repeat.

I’m grateful beyond words for the time my son and I spent with her over the last few weeks. I’m indescribably sad that I have a letter and a photo book I wanted to give her that I won’t ever have a chance to now, and the words I tried to say to her the last time I saw her feel empty and hollow to me now.

I know she’s better off. She was in so much pain before, and she had a hard time remembering what was happening or what she had been saying just moments before. But I will never forget that the last time I saw her, she knew exactly who I was and was so glad to see me. Before I left I sat next to her bedside and told her how thankful I was for everything she had done for me in my life and how much I loved her. I stared into her eyes and tried to make sure she knew everything that was in my heart.

So today, I just want to say a few things that I wish I’d spent more time saying before it was too late.

My grandma.

I love you so much. Throughout my life, it seems you’ve always been there, and my world feels a little sadder and darker now that you’re gone.

When I was troubled and angry, when I didn’t know what I was doing or where I was going, you took me in and gave me a home. When my heart was broken, you stroked my hair and kissed my forehead and told me everything would be okay. You listened to my childhood tantrums, heartbreaks, successes, and failures.

You taught me faith. In myself, in God, in my family. You taught me to laugh, at myself and at life and even when I’m failing. You gave me a home when I needed one, when I had nowhere else to go. You loved your family, and me, and my family, every day of your life.

I want to thank you, and tell you how grateful I am that I had a chance to spend so much time with you, learning from you, as I grew from a weird, crazy, troubled kid to a weird, crazy, relatively well-adjusted adult.

I’m so grateful that your great-grandson, my son, had a chance to know you and spend time with you. He will hold some of the same memories of you that I do, and for that I couldn’t be more happy.

I will miss you. Every day for the rest of my life, I will miss your smile, your kindness, your raucous laughter that was just like mine. Your sense of humor and the way you encouraged me and loved me no matter what I did or what I did or didn’t accomplish. I always felt like you were my biggest fan. I’m so glad you’re not in pain any more, and I will see you again some day.

I will always, always, love you.

Goodbye, my grammies.

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