It even still hurts like it was yesterday. My heart still breaks, even though I have pieced it all together time and time again. Though, the pieces don`t fit together like they did before they were broken.
When I think about it for too long, tears spring to my eyes, and fall down my cheeks as memories drift through my mind. The tears become a river, and before I know it, I have sailed down it, and feel as if I am drowning.
Sobs happen, and then it is like I am there, right there, once again.
It was January 24th. It was her birthday.
I got home from school and my dad was on the phone. He was speaking spanish, so I knew for sure he was talking to my Grandma or Grandpa. His face and body language told me, something was wrong.
I knew in my heart, that it was her.
I still don`t know how I knew.
It was like I could feel it in my heart.
She was my whole world.
I loved her so much. Her smile could light the world. Her spirit and soul were incredible. Everything about her, was amazing. Pure amazing. I talked to her about everything and anything. She was my best friend.
When he got off the phone, it was like everything was slow motion. I didn`t want to hear whatever it was that he was going to say.
`Grandma had a stroke.`
And just like that, tears sprang to my eyes and instantly were flooding my cheeks. My heart shattered and I fell to the floor in instant despair. Breathing became difficult and my world had suddenly changed.
My Grandma was my best friend. I told her everything. She made me feel like I could do anything in the world. She made me believe in myself. She always thought the best of me. I loved her so much.
I was 15 now. It was almost my birthday. I knew that a stroke was not a good thing.
`She is going to be okay.`
He said it calm. He was my hero, so I knew he just had to be right. In my mind, he knew everything.
When she finally went home, my dad took me to visit.
I walked in through the door, and there she sat in the same chair she always sat in, but this time a walker was in front of her. This time her skin was pale. This time she didn`t have that sparkle in her eyes.
My heart raced. I thought she was going to be okay. I didn`t understand why she had a walker if she was fine.
We visited and then went home.
Every time I ever left my Grandparent`s house, I gave them both a hug and a kiss and said I love you. Every single time. For my entire life.
For some reason… I didn`t this time. I said good-bye. I gave her a kiss on her cheek. I didn`t mean to not say I love you. I was so afraid. Everything was different. She didn`t look the same, she didn`t move the same, she didn`t speak the same.
My Grandma died Feb 1 2006. A week after her birthday.
I was at the hospital when she died. I held her hand, and kissed her cold white cheek. I told her I loved her, but at this point, she didn`t hear. And as the machines turned off, I could feel her soul leaving and a rainfall of sadness pouring down on everyone. The world had lost a beautiful person.
I cried more than I had ever cried in my life. I don`t remember leaving the hospital, or going home, or anything. I just cried.
I went through the motions of the funeral, the gathering, and everything. I was numb. I could not imagine my life without her.
I remember a few weeks after, the last time I visited her played in my mind. This was the only time in my life that I did not say I love you before I left her.
It has been 13 years now, and there are times I still cry about this. I should have said I love you. I don`t know why I didn`t.
I lived with guilt for an immensely long time. I had such awful thoughts like what if she didn`t know I loved her? What if she died and never knew how much she meant to me?
I still feel sad I made this choice, but I think I was just so thrown off my how much she had changed in such a short amount of time.
I have found peace in knowing and believing that she knew I loved her.
We had a special relationship, and while her passing nearly broke me, I am so grateful for our years together.
What it taught me was to treasure time, and say the things I want to say, and not take a moment for granted. Of course I need to remind myself this sometimes, but I carry this in my heart with me.
I will forever miss her and I loved her so so dearly, but I think it`s finally okay to let her go and be at peace.