Well...it's here. The anniversary we didn't want to have.
It's been one year since you left us. Well...maybe I should correct that. You left us a long time ago, but your body didn't give out until a year ago.
A lot has changed in this past year. A lot has stayed the same. I'm still married to your son. I still love him and he still loves me (most times) and we still fight to stay together every day.
Your grandbabies are now adults mostly. K will be 20 this year and C will be 18. And your great-grandbaby...sweet Butterbean, will soon be a year old. You never got to meet her in the flesh. You left 6 weeks before she arrived. 6 measley weeks.
You would not believe how much she is K made over. You would be in love with her and she would be in love with you. I wish that the anticipation of her arrival had been enough to convince you to stay.
I wish we would have been enough...your family. I know losing your husband six months earlier was hard. It was unbearable for all of us. But seriously...you couldn't have fought a little harder? Worked a little more to find a reason to live?
Butterbean has her mama's eyes. And the exact same hair. There are days when her Bops and I look at her and it takes our breath because she reminds us so strongly of K when she was that age. She'll be walking in a few short weeks. And not long after that we'll be celebrating her first birthday.
And we'll be thinking of you. And wishing you were here.
I remember when K turned a year old and those first years as a mother. Man, I was so insecure and so uptight about everything. You and I definitely did not see eye to eye on a lot of things as far as she was concerned, but there was one thing I was never in doubt about. I knew you loved her.
Probably in ways you didn't even think you could love. I'm sure it took you by surprise. I know you didn't want to be a grandmother at that time. I know you were too young.
I know because I'm too young.
But none of that mattered once the baby arrived. All that mattered was her and making sure she was loved and spoiled in all the ways a granddaughter should be. I'm sorry I ruined some of that for you by being so insecure and so worried about things that didn't matter.
I'm sorry I helped to make it into a competition for you. I get it now. I know what it's like to try to erase regret by trying to be Mimi Supreme. I'm trying not to do that to K but it's very hard. She doesn't have the benefit of hindsight like you and I do. I keep trying to remember that, but I fail at it a lot.
I believe that you have finally found the peace that eluded you here on earth, because I believe in the mighty hand of our merciful and just God. I know that you see and know now, all the things you couldn't see and know before. And I'm glad. I'm glad you can finally see all the love that we have had for you all these years. I'm glad you can finally rest enough to let it in.
I just wanted to say that to you today.
And that even through all of the crap, and the what ifs, and the wishing it could have been otherwise...we still love you.
I still love you.
I wish you were here. *sigh*
But you're not.