Last night was taco night. I love taco night. While I was preparing our meal, I got an instant craving for my Grandmas mexican rice. I must have eaten this rice five times a week my entire childhood, but I never bothered to watch her do it. Something I now kick myself for. I could remember what it tasted like, how it smelled. I decided to call my Great Aunt Rose. She is my Grandmas sister. Everything about them is the same, except my Aunt has beautiful snow white hair and wears bright red lipstick. My Grandma had Clairol Light Auburn hair and wore bright pink lipstick. Other than that they are the same. Their hands look the same, they laugh the same, the way one eye is bigger than the other, all the same. So I picked up my phone to call my Great Aunt Rose, and as she said "hello", it hit me like a ton of bricks. They have the same voice. This I was not prepared for. For four years I have longed to hear my Grandmas voice, and all of a sudden, it was like I was talking right to her. I held it together long enough to ask her for the recipe, ask how she was and tell her we missed her. As I hung up the phone and added the tomato sauce to my browning rice, I broke into a million pieces and a million tears fell from my eyes and into the pan. I was heartbroken.
When my Grandma passed away over four years ago, I was at peace with it. She had battled for months, and when she finally went, we were with her in her room as she took her last breath. I had said my good byes. I had told her everything I needed to tell her. She was no longer in pain and I was grateful for that. I was at peace. I was ok.
As the years go by, I realize I miss her more intensely than I thought I ever would. I thought I had said everything I needed to to be ok with her not being here. I was wrong. Last night, talking to my Aunt, I wished it so badly to be my Grandma. I sat in her kitchen, making her rice, heartbroken that I couldn't tell her that I loved her. That my daughter looks just like her, and is just as strong willed as she was. To ask her for help when my babes get sick. To thank her for teaching me how to love my babies, because she loved us so much. To tell her that Gavin squeezes my hand three time to say I love you, just like she used to do to me. To show me how to make her potato salad and vegetable soup so I can make it for my Grandpa on stormy days. To tell her how much he misses his wife. I want to tell her that my son walks around with her picture and asks when he can see this Grandma. To tell her I love her and miss her, and I want her back.
I sat by myself in the kitchen. The kitchen I grew up in, at the same stove she cooked her rice at. Then I realized something. That was her blessing to me. To be able to live in her house and cook in her kitchen for my family, the way she did for us. It is because of that, I get to remember her everyday. There are times when I walk into the bathroom and I swear I can smell her hand cream. I am grateful for these reminders.
The older my children get, the harder it is for me that she is not here to share it, but I will forever be grateful that my babes get to grow up in her house with all if her memories. I will try to make her kitchen smell the way it did when she cooked in it. And I will try to love my family the way she did.
I love you I love you I love. There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss you, but also not a moment that I am not grateful for every second I had with you.
Once I got myself together and the tears stopped, I called my Mom and told her I loved here. I know there will be a day when I won't be able to do that anymore, so I will do it as much as I can for as long as I can.