It’s been two weeks since she’s been gone. It doesn’t feel real and it’s taken me this long to find any words at all. There’s already been so many times I’ve thought about calling her and then my heart breaks all over again when I realize she won’t ever pick up the phone again. I always had to call twice because she could never get to the phone in time. She was busy in the garden or taking the dogs out or just waking up. She never called me because she said she didn’t want to bother us if I was trying to get Brig to sleep.
I just don’t understand why she had to leave us so suddenly and without saying goodbye! There are so many things I wanted to tell her. Like how much I appreciate everything she did for me over the years, and how thoughtful she was, and how glad I am that she could meet my husband and my baby, and how sorry I am for not showing my appreciation nearly enough. I pushed her away so many times. She always had an opinion or advice to give especially when I didn’t ask for it. I think that bothered me because of how she also taught me to always think for myself and have my own opinions. But I know she only did it because she cared about me. When you’re growing up though, you don’t realize that your parents have feelings too. She protected my feelings. I never knew I had to protect hers too.
It’s just not real. I still feel like she’s just over the mountains at her house, doing what grandmothers do. She was supposed to live forever. She was supposed to hold all of my babies. She was supposed to see my babies grow up. I was going to help her do so many things at her house. “When I come back next time…” I’d always say. I did what I could to help her with computer stuff over the phone but it was always too hard to explain. I always had her make a list of things we were going to do together when I came to visit next time.
Did she know? Did she know that she would be leaving us so soon? Why didn’t she tell me how bad it was! Why didn’t she tell me to come there sooner! It’s times like these that living out of state or out of the country for that matter is so hard. I’ve been so far away from my family for so many years that you forget that the years are numbered. Time passes by. I know she was proud of me though, for going out into the world and not being afraid of taking chances and living a life of adventure. I know there are more things she was supposed to teach me. She taught me so much already though. I just wish I had let her into my adult life more. I wish I had shared a little more with her.
She was one of the strongest women I’ve ever known. She was a protector. She never let me know if anything was wrong. Sometimes it felt like I was living in a bubble because she never wanted me to worry about anything. Was it an illusion or was it just Love? One thing I do know is that she loved me very much. She raised me from when I was just a baby and I had a good life growing up.
There are SO many memories. Like how she taught me how to make oatmeal cookies, and the best pie crust, and how to wrap presents, and how to make believe. I remember the places we used to live. I remember going on the boat in the summertime up to the San Juan Islands and playing on the docks poking at sea anemones on the pilings and catching crabs with my net. I remember going off to school and the lunches she would pack for me. All of the visits from the Tooth Fairy and Easter baskets and Christmas stockings from Santa. The Halloween costumes she made for me. Birthday presents and ‘just because i love you’ surprises. I remember her letting me get black jelly beans every time we went to the grocery store. The crafts she would make with me. Watching Disney movies. Taking her snorkeling in BVI for the first time, and taking her hiking to the top of Saddle Rock so she could check it off her bucket list. And then there is so much I don’t remember. So many memories I took for granted. I thought she would ALWAYS be there. She wasn’t just a mom or a grandma. She was Bean. She was different.
I don’t know why Cancer affects so many people. It happened so fast. So suddenly. No one knew what was going to happen or how soon she was going to be taken from us.
It’s not fair. I’m only 35 and the two people that raised me are both gone. I’m lucky to still be so close with both my mom and my dad but it’s different, it’s just not the same. I lived with my grandparents growing up and now they are both gone. I’m angry and sad and numb and in disbelief all at the same time.
Now i’ve got a beautiful family of my own – a wonderful husband and a sweet sweet little boy. I know my grandparents were so proud of me. I just wish they could see. I wish they could see they did such a good job and that i’m so thankful for everything they taught me.
This past year has had so many life altering events for me. The birth of my baby, losing our home in Hurricane Irma, the passing of my Grandmother, and so many other monumental things in between. Some days I don’t know how to find the strength to get me through. Some days I forget that there are so many other people in this world that have much greater struggles. On the other hand some days I can’t be believe how blessed I am. Life is a funny thing. Everyone has a story. “Everyone you meet is afraid of something, has loved something and has lost something” so before you judge anyone, remember they have feelings too. Hug your loved ones tight. Tell them you love them all the time. Don’t take one second for granted.
Rest In Peace, Bean. I love you.
You are home now, free of pain and back in the arms of the love of your life.
4.4.44 – 7.16.18
Forever, your little one.
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Jody, what a beautiful story, I’m glad you mentioned the pie crust. I remember when you and Peter were living on your boat in BSM and we invited your for Thanksificing and you brought the most beautiful pumpkin pie and you said your Grandmom taught you how to make that beautiful pie crust. I’m sure you are heartbroken but you have great memories that will last forever❤️
Beautifully said, I’m thinking of you always. Both of them are so proud of you and will always be looking after you and your sweet family. Thank you for sharing- take it one day at a time. Xoxo george
So very sorry for your loss, Jody. Saying goodbye is NEVER easy, no matter what the circumstances. Hold those precious memories close to your heart…they will get you over the rough patches….
I want to express my condolences.
I have been there and it feels as if something has been amputated.
Cherish your fond memories. They will help you through the tough times.
Such a beautiful message!
So sorry for your loss. I, too, wish Grandma’s could live forever.
I’m really sorry for your loss. That is the sweetest giraffe picture ever. After reading the post, the picture made me a little teary eyed.
So beautifully said – you were right to write this and share it with us & I think that will help you in your grief. My mother died one year ago at 89 and it is still hard to believe she is not here and that I can’t call her to share my news of the day or hear about her day. I did speak at her funeral & so glad I did. Your tribute here is the same thing. Yes, everyone, hug your loved ones and be kind to everyone.
S/V Megerin – in the BVI
Oh Jody, my sincere condolences to you for your loss of your beloved Bean. A dear friend of mine whose father died just before she found out she was pregnant with her first baby said something to me that resonated as I read your beautiful tribute. She said during that time, she wondered how she could possibly contain both her grief and her joy, as both were so enormous. Somehow, she discovered, the Universe enables your body, heart, and mind to accommodate both — to heal. May you find comfort in the joy of your family as you grieve her death and may you continue to find her in all of the precious gifts she gave you in memories and pie crust. ~Jessie
Jody, your Bean and I were best friends growing up. After college we lost track of each other but reconnected about 20 years ago and it was like we had never been apart. We laughed commiserated and talked about our families. Kirsten kept me posted after her diagnosis which I greatly appreciated. I too miss her but the wonderful memories will keep her alive. You wrote a beautiful tribute and I know she loves you for it.
This is a pain like no other. Your words perfectly articulated the numbness, sadness and anger. It never goes away, we simply learn to live with it. We were grateful to have so much time with our strong women, and they will guide us forever, and we will know they’re watching over us. Stay strong, as she taught you to be. xo