Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Twenty-two Years

Today is a very difficult anniversary for my family. It's a day we experienced a double-dose of loss over the years. And so, finding the words isn't always easy.

I've tried before. Shared my January Reflections. Repeatedly.

But tonight, before I tuck myself and my kiddo into bed, I'll be borrowing some that I used last year, and yes, admittedly, a few from the year before and adding a bit to them as I continue to grow in my grief.

My grandmother left us 22 years ago today. Twenty-two years. How is that even possible?

It's a lifetime. And yet, I had barely lived so much of my own life. Barely seen the world. Barely knew what the future would hold.

But I knew love.

I knew love because my family showed it to me. Showed me heart. Showed me just how important connection was and would always be. Showed me how to take care of those I loved. How to show up. How to be there, even when they barely knew we were. And how to hold on. My father was the strongest example of this you'd ever see.

I remember the second I found out she was gone. Remember it like it was moments ago. Losing someone who loved you with their entire heart - unconditionally - is a loss like no other.

Since that day my family has experienced more loss. More pain. More sadness. And my only solace is that they're together again. My father, his parents, his sister. A family unit that traveled the world to create a new life for themselves. A life unlike what they would have experienced had they stayed. A life that led to my own. Such a blessing that they made that trek. Such history there that I hold onto - even when some of the pieces are missing.

I love and miss them so. Parts of my incredible family together again. And me, us, their loved ones ... here, carrying them in our hearts always. I hope they are listening, on this beautiful and peaceful snowy day, and that they hear me as I whisper softly to them ... I love you.

If you'd like to find out more about my grandmother, I'd love if you'd head over to this post I wrote oh-so-many-years-ago: What I Remember.

And if you have a family member you've lost and would like to take a moment to honor and recognize, I hope you'll do just that in the comments. Say their name. Let me know who they are to you. Let me share in your memories and moments, as you have here in mine.


  1. You have hear me mention my dad time and again. His name was Verlyn. I held my great grandma Arlene's hand as she died when I was a junior in high school and my great grandma Nelson died my Freshman year of college.

  2. Oh goodness. Well this is candid and perfect. For all my outer persona of independence and optimism, I actually do need people. I miss my mother-in-law who died in November of 2013. For so many reasons. Not that this is a knock against my own parents at all, but she would pick the phone and call ME (or email ME) instead of expecting me to initiate contact when I "wasn't busy." That's a lot in one sentence and I don't expect you or anyone reading it to dissect it, but I guess the point is she didn't wait to tell me I was loved, that she was happy/sad with my latest choices, etc. She was a proactive force in my life. Spending a month with MY mom at the hospital where she (mother in law) died was somewhat surreal. Serendipity probably had a plan there. Maybe. Hugs and love to you.

  3. I miss my grandma, Ethel Marie Frederick. She was really my only grandparent and I loved her so deeply. She died in 1982 when I was just 11 years old. She missed so much of my life but there are ways that I know she’s still with me.

  4. January is a hard month for me. Grandma Stout died 1/31/98, and Grandpa Stout died on 1/15/04. Then, comes Feb. Grandma Nauman died on 2/12/93--just a few months after I got married. They were the only living grandparents I knew. My biological maternal grandpa died years before I was born. My step-grandfather died when I was a freshman in high school. He wasn't a nice man to many of my cousins, so it's hard to think of him as a "grandfather."

    I was especially close to David and Amanda Stout even though they lived in Tennessee. I spent a lot of quality time with them. I always thought I'd have a daughter and name her after my grandma, but it wasn't meant to be. She only met my oldest son when he was a baby. (I wear her wedding ring everyday with my own.) The oldest and middle sons have very few memories of Grandpa. My youngest only knows them through photos.

    I've said too much. This post was a real trigger for me. I don't always let myself feel too much, not because I can't--I can and do, but because I can be so emotional.


    1. I just meant this post gave me permission to cry a little. <3 It's not easy being strong all of the time.

  5. I lost my father when I was only 15 and I still miss him today as much as I did then. He was a wonderful man and will always be my hero.

  6. My mother, Fannie Rakoff, died when she was 47 and I was 12. I miss her, in some way, daily. Alana

  7. By the way, what a beautiful tribute (the one you linked to from 2011)you wrote, and what an idea for a future post on my blog (we bloggers paying tribute to loved ones in comments). My mother in law is declining daily (age 90) and I fear it won't be long before I am paying tribute to her.

  8. McKinlee Ann.

    Our granddaughter. She was born in December of 2016 and died last May. Our hearts are broken. I think permanently.


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