17 years

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This picture is on the bulletin board above my desk, my Granny Jo and I walking hand in hand.

She’s been haunting my thoughts lately.

Taking pictures of every holiday meal.

Giving shopping bags full of paperbacks to my dad every time we visited.

Being one of two people I’ve ever met who watched professional bowling on TV.

Always having Baby Ruth candy bars in her fridge.

But the haunting isn’t as much in how I miss her, but in all the things she’s missed.

She missed my big mistakes, but she has also missed my successes and joys.

She was spared having to watch the pain from my first marriage and subsequent divorce.

But she missed the restoration and joy that has come from finding my soul mate.

She saw me floundering with school and jobs in my early twenties,

But now has missed the excitement from finding a calling.

She met a few of my friends along the way,

But has missed meeting the women who have helped to shape me into who I am today.

She only ever knew me living in my parents’ home.

She has missed me moving 2000 miles away to establish a home of my own.

I looked it up the other day and realized it has been 17 years since we lost her.  17 years of tears and laughter we didn’t get to share.  17 pictures of Christmas Eve dinners she didn’t get to take.  17 boxes of chocolate covered cherries that she both loved and hated to receive.

The haunting thoughts are welcomed, dear Granny.  It helps me to remember the love and strength and joy you gave so generously to my life.

And I promise, pictures will be taken of all holiday meals.

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