Letter #9: Whisper To Me

Dear Gramma,

You’ve been gone over a year now.  In some ways it feels like you were here just yesterday.  Other days it feels like eternity has spread out in between us.  I’m starting to forget what your voice sounded like.  My heart breaks even typing those words because I need your voice in my life.  This week I needed your warm Texas lilt to whisper in my ear.

I needed your voice when cancer took my friend’s mother.  I needed your words when cancer crept back into the brain of another friend’s mother.  In their sadness, my grief for you welled up in my heart and broke it all over again.  My words of comfort were such a meager offering in the face of staggering loss, in the face of fear come to life.  And yet, I feel like you would have said just the right thing.  Once again I find myself wishing I was more like you.

Last night I prayed that you would come talk to me in my dreams.  I long for you to sit down next to me, pat my leg and tell me everything will be okay.  I dream every night.  Most mornings I wake up recalling a fistful of dreams.  But not last night.  Last night was void of dreams.  You were silent and I woke up alone in bed, missing you more than ever.

It’s almost Easter and my memories of last Easter are snapshots flickering in the forefront of my mind.  I remember singing in your church Easter morning, painfully aware that you weren’t there next to me.  I cried through worship, both for the beauty of Easter and for the agony of loss.  I remember riding my bike up through your mountains, my heart bobbing in my throat.

Cancer is such a cunning thief.  A year later, I still feel hollowed out.  And maybe that’s why I don’t have the right words to say to my beloved friends.  Maybe there aren’t words to fill the cavern of loss.

Gramma, words never seemed to fail you.  You could strike up a conversation with anyone and build a friendship in mere minutes.  As for me, my words choke up behind my tongue and come out all wrong.

But this I know for sure, when my words fail my actions speak for me.

So when it comes to cancer, I’m letting my legs do the talking.  With every spin of the cranks, I say no to cancer.  When I stand and pedal up hills, I’m standing with my friends.  And maybe one of these days when I’m riding through the plains and the wind is whipping through the wildflowers, just maybe it’s your warm Texas lilt I’ll hear on the breeze.

I love you so much.  Come talk to me soon.

Alicia

2 thoughts on “Letter #9: Whisper To Me”

  1. My mother’s mother passed 6/8/84 in the early AM. Five hours later my daughter was born. I suppose she spoke to us all. I do hear her broken English from time to time in dreams admonishing me when I may stray from the straight and narrow path. May this Easter season comfort you.

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  2. Just keep hanging in there. I lost my dad over 2 years ago and it doesn’t get any easier you just learn to live with it.

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