Sunday, April 8, 2012

missing at my wedding.

Every Easter I spend the day thinking about and remembering one person. One of the single most intelligent, talented, hard-working and beautiful women I will ever know. I missed the last Easter that my grandma was with us - I was in Canada skiing with my best friend and family and we were having the time of our lives.
my grandma with my brother and me

That June she passed away.

For the last ten years (which is unbelievable) since she passed I have spent every Easter (and so many days in between) just feeling overcome with guilt and regret that I wasn't there to spend our last Easter with her. In the last year or two, and especially today, I realized that instead of feeling sad and full of regret, I should spend the day thinking the happiest, most wonderful things about my grandma... about all of the things that made her such an incredibly special woman (who also raised a pretty incredible daughter or four, if I might say so myself).

As I was just sitting on the couch, thinking about how much I miss her and how much I wish I could just see her, talk to her, get a hug from her one more time (wouldn't that be great with anyone we love so much that has passed?), I had another realization.

One of things I always think about when I think my grandma is the last note she ever sent me, that to this day makes me fall to pieces when I read it. She gave it to me for my 17th birthday, May 1, 2002 (well, shortly thereafter). In the most fragile writing I had ever seen from her she wished me a belated happy birthday and told me to "have a great senior year."

In telling me to have a great senior year she was speaking a million words she would never get to say to me, acknowledging a thousand conversations we would never get to have, and surrendering to all of the life events we had left to experience together. 

my grandma and my brother
Today I realized what one of those events is. I know it has crossed my mind before, but today it really sunk in. I no longer am just "going to get married one day" and she would miss it "one day." I am getting married next June, and she will miss it next June. Only physically, yes... to each their own on anything beyond that. I know she's with me everyday with everything she taught and shared with me before she passed away, and also through my mother with the beliefs she instilled in her that she has also passed onto me. But she won't be there and it isn't some far off fairytale event, it's real and it's approaching.

I miss her now as I do every day, and I will deeply miss her not being at my wedding. I will miss her showing up in what I know would be the most fashionably fantastic over-seventy-I'm-heading-to-church outfit. This woman knew how to dress-up and accessorize. On my wedding day I won't get to have that moment that I always thought was so awkward when I was kid but miss now, naturally... when she would walk in the door and see me she would hug me and then she would always also kiss me. I would always think she was going to kiss me on my cheek, but then she'd kiss me on my lips, and of course she always would have just put lipstick on (which then came off on my face/lips) and I was generally totally and completely mortified.  It's funny the things you remember so vividly, isn't it?

"To a beautiful granddaughter,
We wish you a very belated congratulations on your engagement. We love you very much and have a wonderful wedding. 
Grandpa and Grandma Lang"

(I wish :)

I love you. I miss you so (so) much and think of you everyday. I know you'll be there in my heart. I don't think these tears will ever go away when I think of you, but know they are not just sad tears, but also happy ones as I think of all the amazing things you left behind in this world to carry on.

And P.S., you would just love "my lady."

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