Grandma, I love you.

Dad called me to let me know that Grandma just passed away.
Sweet, dear Grandma Burton. And the aches that came to my heart started pulling me apart. The heaving sobs and lots of tears.
I wasn’t really even crying for Grandma, though. I’m crying for those she’s left behind. Grandma is in a better place, and that I know. She is finally healthy. She must feel light and free.
But on hearing of her passing, it makes me think more of my dear Grandpa. Grandpa Burton, who has been taking such careful care of Grandma for years. I’m crying as I think of his love and devotion to her. How he tenderly made homemade broth from veggies, so that Grandma could have something to eat and keep down. Of the pain he’s felt seeing her get older, and struggle more and more. I recently had an interview with Grandpa for a class. He told me about meeting Grandma, and about all the times they’d go dancing at church and school dances. The live band playing classy music, and he dancing with the girl he loved. It must be crazy looking back on time. In the moment you are young and in love. You know the path of life, but you have no idea of what is to come. You struggle as you barely scrape by. Working 2 or 3 jobs each while juggling three young children too. And then you get a little older, getting better financially, but wishing you’d done a bit more while you could. More trips with the kids, more time with the family. It takes them growing up to realize what you wish you had done.
But I hope Grandpa has no regrets when he thinks of his love for Grandma. When I think of her, I can’t help but think of him always caring for her at her side. As Grandma has struggled these last years, they have both taught me about love. They have taught me the ripe beauty of love as it ages. That it doesn’t spoil after a few years, but how deep it can become. That while beautiful when it blooms, it only gets sweeter and more tender as it ripens.
And so I’m so grateful for my grandparents. I’m grateful that Grandpa has cared for Grandma every day, and I know that he made her passage into heaven all the more beautiful. I know that she is waiting for him there.
I can feel that more than anything else. That she loves him. That it is now her turn to care for, love, and tenderly comfort him in struggling times. Even if he’ll no longer see her, I have no doubt that Grandma will never cease to care for him.

I have to admit, though, that the crying did turn into a selfish cry as well. It did turn into pain and pity, as I realized all the conversations we haven’t had. It takes her passing to realize the moments I’ve missed out on, and I cry realizing that I missed so many chances. I think of all the wisdom she has, of all she’s lived and experienced past my short 20 years. I think of all she would teach me if I had asked a few more questions.
In a thirty-minute interview with Grandpa, I was taught things I needed to know. Thirty minutes of questions I may have never otherwise asked. It’s amazing how fast my generation wants to go. How quickly we can fly by without stopping to learn from those who have lived through it all. We go about thinking we know everything. Obsessed with our expert knowledge of electronics and “modern society”.
But what do we know? What do we know of life? Of People? Of the future? If anyone knows of the future, it’s probably those who have lived their own. I’m turned around full circle to realize how much time I wish I had spent talking with Grandma. How much time I want to spend with Grandpa. How many wonderful people I can learn such valuable lessons from.
Grandma, I love you. Thank you for helping me improve my perspective today. Thank you for teaching me one more thing on the day of your passing today.
Tell the others I love them. Give them all hugs for me.  Tell your parents, your family. Tell my Grandma and Grandpa Shelley. Please send my love to Heaven, and most especially to the one who’s been waiting for you to come home. Send my love to our Savior, to Heavenly Father, and to Mother.

I know that you’re with them. I can feel that spirit now. That while you’re with them, you’re with us just as strongly as before. Maybe more now, because your love can come directly into our hearts.


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