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Grandma, If I Had One More Day…

You know what they say: “You never fully appreciate what you have until it is gone.”

This saying has proven very true in my life, and I am learning as I go to try to appreciate what I have in the here and now. It is a lesson that I think all of us learn in this life.

Not really that long ago, my grandmother passed away. As a child, I was lucky enough to have her live close to me and I saw her at least a couple of times a year. When I grew into an adult, Grandma moved right to my city and my family and I were able to see her much more often.

Grandma was more than just a grandmother. She was an integral part of my life.  She was involved with, aware, and loving of me and my children. She was smart, spunky, and bright all the way up until the very end, so we were able to learn from her and grow through her wisdom and insights. Her physical health declined in those last few years, so she wasn’t able to do as much with us, or go to as many places, but we still saw her often. I thank the heavens above for those opportunities.

In spite of all of this interaction with Grandma, I look back now and feel that there were still things left unsaid between us. There were thoughts and feelings I had back then, and I wish I had simply said them, not held back. If I had it to do over, and I had one more day with my grandma… these are the 10 things I would want to ask or tell her:

  • Grandma, if I had one more day… 1 of 11
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    I would tell or ask you these 10 things.

  • Grandma, I am so proud of you and your legacy! 2 of 11
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    The stories you told me of the life you lived, the person you were, the trials you survived and, sometimes, simply plain endured. The faith you held, the courage you had, the lessons you learned, the children you raised (my father), the care you took of me, the legacy you left behind for us. All of that helped shape my own history. The history you helped create for me. And I love it all. Every last story. I love to share your stories with my children. I feel proud when I think about you, when I share your life lessons, as if they're my own, and it turns out, they are a part of me.

  • Grandma, I am who I am because of you. 3 of 11
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    Thank you so much for the genes you passed on to me. Your smile, your spunk, your sparkle, and your humor. Your forthrightness, your strength, and your determination. Each of these are a little piece of you, and they will live on forever now in me and my posterity. I can already see it in my girls.

  • Grandma, you will be with me forever. 4 of 11
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    You will not be forgotten. I am not old yet, but I am not young anymore either, and I can look back now and see the changes that have come upon me already. Knowing this makes me realize that this life won't last forever, and, to be honest, it can be a scary thought to think that someday my existence here will be gone. That I will not have a direct impact on this earth anymore. I think that when I am in those late golden years, one of the best things I could ever hear would be that I would be remembered. That somehow I had left an imprint on this life that would forever matter to someone. Grandma, you have done that for me.

  • Grandma, please say hello to my loved ones on the other side. 5 of 11
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    I believe there is a life after this one.  One where family is together forever, and people I love are waiting for me.  I know you believe that too, and I wish we'd talked more about it.  You were always so close to that place, and I still feel so far from it.  Will you please let everyone know how much I love them, and what they mean to me and my family?  Grandma, I want to send messages to heaven with you!

  • Grandma, do you remember when? 6 of 11
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    I want to reminisce with you. I want to recall the times we had been together. Trips we had taken, people we had met, laughs we had shared, times we had experienced together. These are the topics of conversation that would be worthy of discussion, if I had just one more day with you.

     

    Photo credit: ticklesivories

  • Grandma, I am so looking forward to being with you again! 7 of 11
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    Because I believe in life after death, I hope for a reunion with all those that I love. I wish I had realized in your final days that this is what you had in front of you. Like a pregnant mother awaiting the birth of her baby, excited and anxious to talk about it, I'm certain, now, that you were anticipating those who were waiting for you. If I had one more day with you, I would dream and wonder about this with you.

  • Grandma, can you tell me more? 8 of 11
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    Please tell me more about the places you had lived. What about more of the people who you had met? How did you feel as you experienced life? I want to learn something about you that I had never known before, find out about a childhood crush, or a secret you had told no one. I want to picture what your life was like, and record that memory vicariously through your words and feelings. I am sure there are so many things you learned and experienced that I still do not know. Grandma, can you tell me more?

  • Grandma, do you know how many people love you? 9 of 11
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    I want to go through them by name. Your children, your grandchildren, your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors and friends. All of these people love you, and you mean something to them. Your wonderful smile brightened all of us, and your example deeply affected each one of us… and I want you to know that.

  • Thank you for being my Grandma! 10 of 11
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    I want you to know that your presence in my life meant there was one more person that loved me.  No… matter… what.  You always made me feel special, like I was your favorite grandchild {although I know you loved us all equally}. Please know that I felt that, and it meant the world to me!

  • Grandma, I love you soooo much! 11 of 11
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    Oh yes, I know I told you that I loved you.  It was something I said to you each time I left you. It was our goodbye of sorts.  "I love you, Grandma" I'd say as I rose to leave on those visits.   Then I would then give you a quick hug and out I'd go. What I left out was the hold-your-hand-eye-contact "You mean so much to me and my life."  I want you to know that part of it. I hope you know how important you are to me. Grandma, I love you! I'd make sure you knew that… if I had just one more day.

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