If I Could Talk to My Grandma One More Time
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My Grandma Winsell died my first year of college. I was in Troy, Alabama and she was in Oklahoma. I remember waking up from a dead sleep and just knowing she had passed away. I went back to sleep and got up a few hours later to learn from my mother that Grandma Winsell had indeed gone to be with the Lord.
Some days I miss her so much it steals my breath away. She always made the holidays special, and those are the times I miss her the most. Sometimes I dream about what I’d say if I could see her again. I’d want to tell her how much I love her, because when you lose someone, “I love you” never seems to be enough. But if I could sit down and have a conversation with her, I think it’d go something like this:
“Grandma, will you play a game of solitaire with me?” I know if I can get her into a game, she’ll stay longer.
A slow smile appears on her wrinkled face, and starts shuffling the cards. “I taught you this game before you could read.”
“You always brought the families together with a game of cards, but since you’ve moved on, we’ve all gone our separate ways.”
Grandma’s smile falters, and she nods. “I was afraid of that. It’s hard keeping family together, especially now that there’s so many distractions to keep them apart.” Grandma deals out the cards and sets the deck aside. Her long bony fingers curve around her favorite coffee cup, and she tips it o her lips for a drink.
I play the game in silence, watching Grandma’s every move so that I can commit it to memory. “Mom, Dad, Sam, and I still play cards when we all get together, but it’s not the same without you.”
She takes my hand, and I cherish the rough calluses that scrape against my soft skin. Tears threaten to spill down my cheeks, so I wipe my eyes.
“Honey, we all have to leave the world some time. You shouldn’t cry because I’m not there. We’ll be together again . . .but you still have a job to do.” She pats my hand and takes her turn in the game.
There are so many questions about Heaven that I want to ask, but each time I form the words, my voice gives out. These topics are not up for discussion, so instead I focus on the love in Grandma’s eyes and comfort found in her embrace.
Way before I’m ready, Grandma looks to her right and nods to someone I can’t see.
“It’s time for me to go back.” She hugs me around the neck and kisses my cheek. “Grandpa Winsell says you’ve grown into a fine young woman. He knew you’d be something special. The others can’t wait to meet you.”
Tears are free falling down my cheeks and dripping off my chin. It’s too soon. I need more time. My throat constricts and all I can manage is a strangled “I love you.”
I can daydream all I want about significant conversations about the future or past, but all I’d really want is to spend some time doing what Grandma Winsell loved the most . . .playing cards. Spend time with your loved ones; don’t waste moments on phones, tablets, or television. Make the most of the time you have because tomorrow might not be in the books.
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