It is hard for me to say good bye to you because I haven't seen you in so many years. The last time I saw you was 8 years ago. I remember exactly because I had just had Emily. You were here when I was pregnant, and you were pretty sure it was going to be a girl. You were right.
But, then you got sick right after I had her. Your emphysema was bad, and you were struggling breathing. You had developed pneumonia and the doctor admitted you the the ICU. It killed me because I had a baby just a few days old and couldn't come to see you in the hospital. I only made it once. But, when they transferred you to the regular room, I couldn't stay away.
I remember how optimistic you were. You weren't worried about your health. You were invincible.
You got better and went back to your home, two states away.
I wish I could have known if you had gotten my letters and cards. I never was able to talk with you on the phone because whenever I called, if the number hadn't been changed, they said you were sleeping or at the doctor or something else.
I know it wasn't anything personal about me. I realized even then that the people that you lived with were not looking out for you always. But, I also know that even if you knew that, you still wanted to believe the best in them. I just wish they would have told me that you were sick, that you may even die. It mattered to me.
I have some very fond memories of you. I know that you would say that you made a lot of mistakes. I am pretty sure we can all say that in our lifetime. But, I never questioned your love. And I wish that I knew for sure that you got the letter I wrote you a few years ago.. the one that I told you I forgave you.
I wish a lot of things. That I had the opportunity to share with you how much Jesus loves you. I know you heard the words from me... but did you hear my heart? Did you believe that no matter what your life brought, he loves you?
I will always remember you. I will remember your birthday and your goofy phrases that you used to say that didn't mean anything to anyone but you... I will remember the way you squinted in the sunlight, and how your hands changed as you grew older. I will remember your favorite outfit, a white t-shirt and jeans, and how you always appreciated good cooking. There are many things I never got to experience with you. But, I will treasure the memories I do have.
May you rest in peace.