Three years ago today, my grandma died. I had a dream about her last night and her presence was so clear that when I woke up it took time to realize it was a dream. Her death came rushing back in my mind. The pain was as fresh as it was that day. I have felt it all day too.

She had a way about her that always made you think of God and living life as a christian. Years of her life were spent working in the church and she loved it. I remember people talking about her at her funeral and to hear what an impact she had on so many people’s life made me even more proud to have her as my grandma.

My other grandma’s sister died a couple days ago and her funeral is today. As a kid, we would go visit my great-grandma and her in West Virginia every summer. It was always my favorite vacation. I can still hear the gravel under the tires as we pulled into her driveway and the creaking of her screen door as we opened it ever so quickly. The smell of her home and food cooking will never fade from my mind. Her smile was always sincere and her strength shone through every part of her. Always, I would quickly say my hellos and run out the door and across the road to see Aunt Opal. She was my grandma’s sister/best friend and I always felt close to her. She knew everything about me because my grandma told her everything. There was always a little part of me that ached for a sister like that. I do have that with my mom, I realize. As a kid, though, my mom was my mom and we couldn’t have what we have now.

Anyhow, my Aunt Opal had a back porch where we would hang out. I would listen to her talk and I never grew weary of her stories. She was a strong, wise, and caring lady. I loved being over there and occasionally I would spend the night. It made me feel special  and I loved the break from my brothers. Ah, such fond memories.

My grandma and Aunt Opal’s bond held each other through all times. The day my grandma died, we felt as though she was holding on for some reason. We called Aunt Opal and held the phone to my grandma’s ear. We knew that was it––that was what she needed. Shortly after, she peacefully passed. It was beautiful and gave me peace on the saddest day of my life.

Today, I am sad as I think of my grandmas. Christmas time is not the same without them. Heck, life is not the same. Every one of them taught me so much and they reinforce why I am who I am. There are times when I think about what I should do in life or in a situation. I see one of their faces. I hear their words and stories as I sip my coffee or make dinner. I know how blessed I am to have had such lovely ladies to guide me.

Today, I also anxiously wait for a niece to be born. It will no longer just be a day of sorrow. It will be a day of celebrating a birth.

Typing this reminded me how life has a way of carrying on and bringing along those no longer with us as though they still remain. It is simply beautiful, isn’t it?

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