And even though it has gotten a little easier - it still hurts knowing I can't just call you and get your advice. I would love to hear you say, "Don't worry your pretty little head about it," or "It will be better in the morning," or just have you hug me because that would always make everything feel a little bit better.
When I have issues with my kids, and I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing as a parent - I long for a way to talk to you and ask your advice. But instead, I try to think back and figure out from your example to me - what you would've done. You taught me so much. I don't know if you ever realized how much.
Even now, I can't imagine how you did all that you did. So many children came through your doors and you blessed each and every one of them in some way or another. That one summer when you were watching 5 12-year-old boys, along with lots of other kids - how did you not go crazy? How did you keep your sanity? My kids are still several years away from those teen years . . . but I get scared now just thinking about it! (and I only have 3!!)
The thing is - I really do know how you did it. You knew what was most important. You knew what was worth getting worked up about and what wasn't. And you praised God no matter what the circumstance. You were able to sing in every situation. Even hours before you took your final earthly breath, when your body must have been in so much pain - and you were facing leaving all of your loved ones behind, you were able to put everything aside and do your best to sing along with us as we gathered around your bed and sang all of those old familiar hymns. What a legacy. I just hope I can live up to that.
So even though I miss you and it hurts more than usual on this day - I will sing. I will praise God. And I won't forget everything you taught me.
Until we meet again, Grandma.
April 19, 1926 - July 6, 2005