these memory books but hadn't touched the ones I'd printed out. I thumbed through each one and allowed the memories to wash over me. Pictures from the hospital, nursing home, and finally her home when it was time to start hospice. So many people poured out their love on Grandma and my family during that time.
Sometimes it feels like she died so long ago and then I wonder if I've forgotten the sound of her voice, her laugh. How do you lose something so ingrained? In the last year or two I had a dream that she was there and my family was singing "You Are My Sunshine" to her; she pulled me aside after the song and during our heart to heart, she laughed and it was as if all was right with the world. It is the only time she has physically appeared in a dream since she died. It is hard to convey the depth of our family's loss if you didn't know my grandma. She was simply a wonderful woman, open to how God would use her for His glory and uncomparably compassionate. My grandma left me an incredible legacy. She was always there for others, especially during times of illness and death. She knew how to be present to pain. And she knew how to laugh in the midst of heartache. Family gatherings are not the same without her, even as we've tried to keep up traditions like Cream Cheese Jello, sprinkles, and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus at Christmas. We've all changed as a result of our loss. My faith has grown immeasurably as God has comforted me and proven Himself faithful through the valley of grief. I don't miss her in the same way anymore. Now I miss her for the times that she will not be around, like when I get married or have children, whereas before I simply wanted her to be. I am comforted that she has been in heaven these three years and would never ask her to trade the glory of that place for the temporal pleasures of this earth. And as I prepare for more transitions ahead, I hope she would be proud of the decisions I make and the paths I take.