|Momo reading to Cora the day after Christmas, 2010.|
I remember this day like it was yesterday. My head was still buzzing from a surprisingly positive pregnancy test and the excitement of sharing the news with you, Popo and Mom and Dad. You were all lined up on the leather couch here when Rob and I told everyone about the extra present that wouldn't arrive until August. Squeals, hugs and happy dances were had by all. It was a wonderful day. Very special to have four generations of family celebrating in one room.
This picture captures so much of what is special to me about you. You read this book to Cora as if it was the single most important thing in the world at the time. Your enthusiasm so genuine and your delicate hands pointing out all the words. You have so much love inside of you for your grandchildren and great grandchildren. We've all been engulfed and bettered by it.
Even though you've lived 16 hours away for nearly my entire life, I've never felt the distance. Your support has been unwavering over the years and you've made every effort to be as close to me as possible. I hope that you have felt my efforts as well. Many of my fondest and most important memories of my childhood and beyond are centered around road trips to Alabama of you coming to our house in Texas. Time spent with you over the years is time I will greatly cherish. I have so many sweet memories tucked away in the corners of my mind; they are little nuggets of treasure that I can admire as often as I like.
There are so many things about you that make you an amazing grandmother. When we were younger you baked with us, played card games late into the night with us, took us to the beach, played pretend, told us stories, cuddled us, kissed us, let us sleep in the bed with you, made us feel special and important, kept up with our accomplishments, encouraged us in our failures, loved us unconditionally even when were complete twits, and ALWAYS had time to talk and listen. You still always have time to talk and listen. I always appreciated calling you in my college years and young adulthood to talk with you about the tough stuff in life. You've always been great at listening and talking through something without just throwing out a solution.
You are an incredibly smart and funny woman, not to mention beautiful. Your sense of humor, even in sickness is still wonderful. Your love for your family is still strong even though your body is so weak. Your smile has always had the ability to light up the room and your contagious laugh spreads quicker than the flu.
From the time I was a little girl, I've always thought of you as a brave woman. One time in particular I remember you driving my brother and me across the country in your big old black Cadillac. We got lost in Memphis and you calmly found your way again as if nothing ever happened. Then there was that time you rode the water slides with us in Atlanta and I thought, "Now that is an awesome grandma!". Now, as you battle cancer, that bravery is especially brilliant. Even though the treatment hasn't worked like we all hoped it would, you have certainly fought hard. Your fight in the last few months has allowed our family some special time together that I will never forget. Celebrating your birthday with everyone together was beyond special. I hope we didn't wear you out too much.
Having you in my life has always made everything seem so grand. Remember the trip we made to Georgia to the Cabbage Patch Hospital? I remember staying in a little place down by a river that had a tiny kitchenette. We had some packaged honey buns that we pretended to cook in the skillets. To me, that breakfast was so gourmet. I remember making numerous trips to the beauty shop with you; in my tiny human mind, you were this celebrity of the beauty shop and I was your sidekick. I loved sitting under the dryer looking at the magazines while you got your hair done.
The hours spent on your back deck with cousins, family and friends, laughing and joking as kids and later talking politics and religion as adults, has greatly shaped me as a person. OH, and speaking of the back porch, do you remember the magic shows? I wanted you to make me a cape and you picked out the most luxurious black and red fabric to sew one up for me. I just want you to know how much I appreciated that.
Also, remember when we ate at Sabarro's in New York City? You hit the nail on the head when you said they were rushing us through the line like cattle. I'm so happy that we went on that trip together to experience the Big Apple. I hope you had as much fun as I did. I want to take my girls there someday to see all the same things we did.
We've had our share of little arguments and hurt feelings over the years, but I always knew your love was there. You've always made time and made your grandchildren a priority. You've also poured your love into your great grandchildren. Thank you for that. They will hear many many stories about you and how special you are.
I wish we could have more time together. I'm still having a difficult time with the fact that you will not be in our Earthly presence forever. I write this not to make you sad, but because I really, really need you to know how much you mean to me. Thanks for being brave and for giving us the time you have. We are all so lucky to have been touched by your love.
All my love,