Dear Grandmommy

Edna Elizabeth Brainerd 1917-2013

Edna Elizabeth Brainerd

Dear Grandmommy,

You’ve been gone a year. I don’t know how that happened but somehow a year has passed without you. At times I felt like it would never end; then again it seems like all I did was blink and here we are again.

I miss you. That goes without saying I suppose. Sometimes I feel like things are going okay. It’s not that I don’t think about you but some days are better than others. I’ll be cruising along without a problem and then I’ll eat a Caesar salad and it’s all down hill from there. The last time we went out together I had a Caesar salad. It was my college graduation. You were beautiful and put on such a brave face despite knowing what was happening to you.

So much has happened in only a year.

We buried you in June. You would have been so proud of the story I had to tell my new boss. I had only been working at my clinic for a month when I had to take a week off for your funeral. I put in the request as soon as I was hired in May. She asked if a funeral was the kind of thing you planned a month in advance and I calmly explained that you died in April and didn’t want to be a bother so we were going to have a party and bury you when it was convenient for everyone. She seemed to think I was bullshitting her. It was just par for the course as far as I am concerned.

I was working on some original research last year. I never got to tell you about it but you’d be so proud. I presented a poster summary last October. The same paper was accepted to a conference in Scotland. Unfortunately I had to miss it because my funding fell through at the last minute. I’m not that concerned about it. This is just the start of something bigger.

Christmas was a bitch. The kids came out to decorate the tree with us. It was adorable. You’d be pissed to know that I had to duck into the bedroom more than once when the tears threatened to fall. Every ornament with “World’s Best Granddaughter” or “Grandma’s Favorite” written on it was almost too much. The ones with your handwriting on it broke my heart in a way words can never explain.

Sam remembers you. He only met you once when he was not even three years old, but you left an impression on that little boy. He enjoyed the stories I told him. One day we will watch your reading of The Night Before Christmas. I couldn’t do last year.

As much as I know you loved me I am so full of regret. I should have visited more when I lived at home. I should have written more when I moved away. I should have recorded your stories. I should have spent more time with you when you were in the hospital. I should have told you I loved you every god damn day.

I’m sorry I didn’t spend more time with you when I saw you for the last time. I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough to see you that way. I’m sorry I didn’t sit with you while you cried when your bandages where changed. I’m sorry I didn’t know what to say when you said you were scared of dying. I’m so sorry I walked away after that.

I know you love me and I know you held nothing against me then or now. In fact, I can hear you now telling me to stop crying because it’s a waste of time and effort. I wish it were that easy.

You are impossible to forget. Everyone who ever met you has a story to tell. You had a passion for life that was infectious. You were beautiful and wonderful and amazing and lived life so fully that I can’t imagine how difficult it was for you when all that ended after you broke your hip. Your eyes lost a bit of their sparkle and your smile was never quite the same after that.

All I wish for you now is that all the pain is gone and you are happy again. I am not a religious person but I pray that you dance every night away in heaven. I will always miss you but I take comfort in knowing that you can have everything in heaven that you were forced to give up on earth.

Please watch out for us, Grandmommy. Keep us safe until we meet again.

Love Always,
Your Kaitie


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