Happy Friday friends!
This blog will be a little dark for a TGIF or what I normally put out here. My grandmother passed away 2 weeks ago, as many of you already know. I received a sympathy card in the mail from one of my closest friends just this week. She wrote that she was sending the card 'late' because she personally feels it isn't the week of the passing // that week of the visitation or burial, but the weeks after that are the hardest. That it hurts your heart whenever you think of the future events that you will never get to share, but you have to hold onto the dear memories that you have made. That's why she sent the card. I'll be frank. I'm standing in my kitchen at lunchtime crying because it has been a week. It seems to be that way anymore. It's been quite a month and even August was kind of rough. There seems to be so many moving parts in my life right now that I have pushed this loss into the back of my mind. We all know that's a way to cope with grief, right? Push so much onto your plate that you forget anything else so you never have to deal with it.
That's how I decided to write this to put out there. I wanted to *pause*. I haven't been able to sleep lately so here I am 1:26am on Friday, September 21. I shot up in bed because I had this thought... I have had so many people send sympathy cards to me, personally, that I had to consult my mother on what proper etiquette was for thank yous, etc. It's different for me losing a family member at this age as the last time I lost a grandparent was back in high school, my freshman year. What was that? 12 years ago? So many of my friends, family, extended family, family friends and so on have reached out and sent their condolences that I wanted to say thank you - so that's where this thought just came into my mind: this is my written thank you to all of you and maybe this will help someone else with something going on in their lives as well.
I just had dinner with my parents tonight (yesterday?) and we were chatting about how the last week has been and so on, normal stuff. We got on the subject of grandma and I mentioned how accepting she was and that has made it easier for me, personally. My grandma has always been the toughest lady. A story Jason and I love to talk about is how one time we had taken her out to dinner, probably Main Street because she loved their Wednesday night chicken special. We brought her over to see our home, as we had just bought it There she sat in our living room, eyes bloodshot, nose running, the works, refusing to get up and out of our house - even though she was clearly allergic to something, probably our cat. To this day, almost 3 years later, it still makes us crack up. Or how about the fact that she lived a whole 2nd life practically making her way without my grandfather in the world with her? Or maybe how she practically raised my aunt, her oldest child, for a year while my grandpa was serving our country? Or that even in her final days she barely used medication because she didn't have pain (and I have no clue how not). I remember my grandma as one of the strongest female figures in my life and someone who accepted her passing to God. She was at peace with it. She was from the moment of her cancer diagnosis. I don't know many people like that and I'm not sure I will ever know someone else like that.
I would describe myself as someone relatively private. So sharing these things feels like I'm exposing myself, but that's what a letter is, right? I want you to know how much it means in the time of loss that so many people share stories of my loved one and how much they, too, loved her. How they loved seeing her at their store or restaurant, hearing about her family, how proud she was of her family, how much they loved her personality which was so candid, how she always knew the happenings in the town, and always had great stories to share. I think that is why, as my dear friend stated, it is so hard in the weeks after because you're left alone. You don't hear those things as frequently and, as time passes, other peoples' lives move on without your loved one and that, my friends, is the hard pill to swallow. That life could possibly move on
So thank you so very much for thinking of me and my family. I encourage you to still share stories of my Grandma with us and with other individuals who have suffered a loss of their loved one. By sharing that memory, you are giving them one more memory to store and one more second where the grievance doesn't feel so heavy. Thank you to everyone who has been so kind to do that in these past 2 weeks. I want to leave you with a poem that I was given when one of my grandfathers passed away. I think it is a good reminder to live by.
If only I knew the last time I kissed you…
Would be the last time I kissed you
Then I would have never stopped
If only I knew that the last time I hugged you…
Would be the last time I hugged you
Then I would have never let go
If only I knew that the last time you told me you loved me…
Would be the last time you told me you loved me
Then I would have memorized your voice and how you said it
If only I knew that the last time I looked at you…
Would be the last time I saw you look at me the way you did
Then I would have memorized you face and how you looked at the person you love
If only I knew that the last time I cuddle with you…
Would be the last time I cuddle with you
Then I would have never left your side
If only I knew that the last time I laid in bed with you…
Would be the last time I laid in bed with you
Then I would have laid there forever
If only I knew the last time I held you hand…
Would be the last time I held your hand
Then I would have never let go
If only I knew the last time I wrestled with you…
Would be the last time I wrestled with you
Then I would have never given up
If only I knew that I wouldn’t be with you forever…
I would have loved you better
I would have spent more time with you
I would have told you I loved you more
I would have hugged you more
I would have kissed you more often and more passionately
I would have tried harder
I would have never taken you for granite
I would have respected you more
I would have better proved to you that I love you more than anything
If only I knew…
Happy weekend y’all!
I never wrote about our trip to Jamaica back in January. Being that I have not had much beach time this summer, maybe it’s best I spend some time reflecting on the beach! We chose Jamaica for our trip to celebrate Jason’s mom’s 60th birthday! I have never been, but both Jason and his mom both have been there. We surprised her with upgraded flights to first class which was pretty amazing!! The meals were good and we were able to really start our vacation right with drinks all the way down to Jamaica. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay. Now, for you 5 star+ Golden Apple Vacationers, I wouldn’t say this resort is for you. However, we are pretty simple people and as long as there is a lovely view of the ocean and a drink in our hands, we are pretty content! And per usual, we found a nice deal on it. We wanted something all-inclusive and this fit the bill. Besides all the things the resort had to offer us, we took an excursion to go zip lining, which Janice hasn’t ever been. It was a blast! I thought it was better than the one Jason and I did in Punta Cana. The course was pretty natural and we got to see a lot of nature during the hike and, obviously, zip lining. Honestly besides that, we really just hung out! We did walk off-site to a local ‘flee’ market where I got my hair braided and we bought some authentic Jamaican souvenirs. And despite the weather not cooperating a few of the days, we had a blast relaxing, drinking, and playing cards - all while soaking in that gorgeous Caribbean view! :)
An adventurous soul, a kind heart, and a sarcastic mouth. You never know which you will get.