Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear Maw Maw

Dear Maw Maw,

You've been gone six months now. Some days - most days - I miss you so much that there aren't words that can describe how sad I feel or how much it hurts. I think back and regret so much the number of times I told myself that I would call you "tomorrow" only then I would forget. I even forgot to call on your birthday last year. And I know that you didn't mind. You always told me that you were just glad to hear from me. Once, when I called a WEEK late for your birthday, you said that any time you heard from me & the kids was like your birthday. But remembering that only makes me feel more sad. Because I could have & should have given you more "birthdays" than I did.

I found you a Christmas present tonight while I was shopping. This neat set of angels. They were kind of rustic and funky. I even had them in my cart before I realized that we wouldn't be opening presents with you this year. And I nearly lost it right there in the store.

I still have your number programmed into my phone. I can't bear the thought of deleting it. It would be like you never existed or something. Only, I can look in the mirror most days and see your face. God blessed me with your face and your voice and your mannerisms. I surprise myself some days when I hear your voice talking to my children. I know that you are the only reason that Bug is still alive. You are the reason I am able to laugh at most of the crazy things those boys do and appreciate them for the smart, funny, stubborn little men they are. You remind me all the time that the qualities that make me crazy right now are the very ones that will serve them well in the future. And you were right about SugarPlum from the first time you laid eyes on her and told me that she is a wise old soul. She is that indeed! You tell me constantly to let the little things go. To laugh when they have rolled in the mud. To appreciate the art in the "circus" they have drawn on the wall. In Sharpie. I know from you that what matters the absolute most is that they know that they are loved more than anything in the whole wide world and that nothing they could ever do will negate that love. That I have unfailing faith in their ability to achieve whatever they want in life.

So much has happened in the past six months. My whole life has turned upside down and I have laid in bed so many times and sobbed because all I want is to talk to you about it. Am I doing the right thing? Am I screwing up my kids? Am I strong enough to get through this? Because, sometimes the doubt eats at my very soul. You were always so soothing and wise and funny and knew just what to say to ease my worries. You also knew when to just be quiet and hold me and listen & not try to solve my problems. Your arms around me made me know that the world couldn't hurt me. I wish I could just lay in your lap and cry until I feel better. You always let me sob until there were no more tears. And you always had plenty of Kleenexes to clean up the snot.

But in those moments when I feel like I might just be ripped in two from missing you, I hear your voice in my head telling me, "You can do this, Buffi. You MUST do this. You can do what I never could for so many reasons. Be the mom and the woman I always wanted to be. Who I taught you to be. Stand up for yourself. Be the example those babies need. You are smart and strong and capable. And I love you and I am right here." So I am going to do the right thing for you, Maw Maw. And for me. And for those SugarBabies that we love so much. I promise I will make you proud. You spent nearly 40 years convincing me that I am everything you knew I was. You did that for all of your grandbabies. I can't speak for all of us, But I know that Bek and Tell and I wouldn't be who we are without your love and confidence in us.

But tonight, can you find a way to come in my dreams and hold me and let me cry until I know it'll be okay? Because missing you hurts almost as much as anything in the world. I know that I will see you some day soon. You and Paw Paw will come and get me in that ice cream truck we all heard in March (because really, why on EARTH was there an ice cream truck at a cemetery in March, if it wasn't you two?) and we will all be home together soon. But that seems like a long way away. And I have a lot to do before then. Even if it is just the blink of an eye up there in Heaven.

I love you so much Maw Maw. I'm glad that you aren't sad or in pain any more. And I am so thankful that God helped me find comfort in your memory. Kiss Paw Paw for me. And know that we miss you two more than we ever knew it was possible to miss anyone.


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