I’ve seen so many posts through the years from those of you who have lost loved ones, and my heart and prayers have always gone out to you. But, being a girl who herself had all her grandparents still in her life well into her 30’s, I never truly understood loss on my own. I was blessed not with 4 grandparents, but with 6!! Our family had grown due to an early divorce and re-marriage that happened well before my time. I have truly been blessed indeed. I have lost two of my grandfathers now and a grandmother. The most recent of which was my Grandma Violet.
This March marked the first month in all of my 39 years that I DIDN’T send her a birthday card. You see, even as a little girl, my mom would help me scribble juvenile and sometimes even illegible drawings down for her to show her how much she meant to me. My mother was always good at that…teaching me to show love. Even though I’ve lived 3000 miles away from Grandma since moving to Florida, we still always sent her a special card and a small token of our love.
Well, this year I couldn’t do that. Sadly, my number of grandparents has dwindled down from six to three in the past seven years. Now I know what real loss is. Although two of my grandparents have found love again in their golden years, and my number of grandparents recently increased back up to five, I’m still grieving over the three I’ve lost. Every birthday, Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day are subtle reminders of my grief.
This March, I tried it differently. Instead of looking through all my old pictures and crying; this year, I looked at my old pictures and did something. I bought a violet in honor of my Grandma. I bought sunflower seeds to plant in honor of my Grandpa. I put a post on Facebook in honor of my other Grandpa, who used to sit glued to his computer on Facebook. Even with his bad eyesight, he waited there by his screen just hoping to catch a glimpse of what his grandkids were up to.
Sometimes, it’s hard to live out loud when things aren’t perfect…especially for me. I’ve had so much imperfection in my life…you’d think I’d be great at it by now! ;) The reason I usually don’t is because TRUE GENUINENESS leads to VULNERABILITY. But then…something inside me changed.
I used to think vulnerability led to weakness, but now I believe it leads to strength. A silent strength that comes in numbers when the people I love most and who love me back BOND TOGETHER to strengthen each other during the tough times. Isolation can leave a soul feeling desolate, alone and even afraid…BUT COMMUNITY…especially WHEN DONE RIGHT and WHEN DONE FULL OF LOVE…is a GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN.
I love you all! Stay well. You are not alone even in your isolation.