Dear Grandma Pauline,
It has been years since
you were called home.
I miss your quiet strength,
and your beautiful, kind spirit.
You were always the best combination
of Southern sass, heart, and grace.
I remember when you would
take my hand and
walk with me
to the store
down the street
and give me money to buy
“a little knick knack”.
And when you would make
homemade biscuits in the mornings –
fresh, flaky, and hot.
We would poke a hole in them,
pour in the thick, sticky sweetness
of Cane Patch syrup,
and eat until we couldn’t hold any more,
licking the goodness off our fingers
when we were done.
Or when we would sit on the front porch,
you in a rocker,
and me and the other kids on the porch swing,
drinking Coca Cola and sweet tea,
or eating melting icy popsicles,
the heat sweltering even in the shade.
But we didn’t care.
Grandma’s house was the place to be.
There are so many other memories,
so many other stories I could tell,
and each them has its own place
on the shelf in my heart.
I wish you were still here,
that I could sit with you
over a plate of blueberry cobbler
and vanilla ice cream,
or even while shelling butter beans,
and we could talk again.
I’d want you to meet you great grandchildren;
my son, an amazing young man
who likes to work with his hands,
and a heart that’s full of goodness.
And my baby girl, a teen full of character,
her presence and attitude larger than life,
with unique hazel eyes just like my dad’s,
your son, who is the reason
I knew you
and your light,
and I’m so grateful to be your family.
I knew you would have loved them
as much as you loved us,
as much as you loved me,
and they would have loved you, too.
I hope you look down and smile at them,
at all of us,
and know that we can’t wait to see you someday.
It was hard when you left,
and it was difficult to see you slip slowly away,
your health deteriorating before our eyes,
the bright spirit fading as physical pain,
and grief over Grandpa’s passing
took their toll on your mind and your body.
But you still shone with inner beauty,
the spark and glow of your beautiful soul
even when the darkness came
and took you away from us.
You still live in our thoughts,
and pictures still remind us of you.
Though we are apart now,
I will be more than ready to hug you and hold tight,
and I’m sure there will be line behind me,
waiting to do the same.