15 Years -

Today is 15 years since my Grandma died. 

I remember everything. In the clearest detail. Still yet too painful to think of too long. 
A few years ago I got a whiff in a store of the sanitizer used in the nursing home where she died 
and I almost threw up from the panic. I was a little 13 year old (4yrs & 3mo after this pic was taken). 

The night before she died I said one last goodbye. One last kiss on her pursed, uplifted lips. 
One last whisper from her in her Atlanta accent "I love YOU, darlin'." One last smile into her gentle eyes. 
That night I caught my first firefly. The next day, she was gone. 

The Mama who raised my Daddy, the woman who called him "Eddie", the one whose hands I can still see peeling a tomato,
teaching me how to pick out produce in the store, and sassily telling me how to pump gas correctly. 

The way her eyes would twinkle over the long table at my grandfather. Her hand in mine. 
Sometimes I'd open my eyes during prayer just to memorize her hands and her face.
Even then, I knew she might not be there one day. When we'd end prayer, she'd wink at me, and pass me the rolls. 

I still remember how my head fit perfectly on her chest and how she always wanted hugs. 
Her perfect wavy hair, her constantly ladylike style, her laughter, her incessant grace,
 even when in pain. I adored her and still do. 

I wonder what she'd think of me being a photographer, a writer, and what she'd think of CJ. 
I KNOW she'd love Ben & Clark. I miss so much of her in my life. 

The sun literally split a red flare of glory light into a picture taken at her burial. 
My hair, red-gold, tears on my face, forever loving sunsets for bringing beauty to the sad. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is if you ever wonder if your legacy of love will matter, it will.
It will last. It will last as long as the one so deeply loved lives. 

The sandwiches made with love, the expensive special truffle bought "just for you" at the mall, 
the tight hug when you won't let go.... it all matters. It's all the most beautiful legacy
 and I just can't wait to see her again and see that stunning smile cross her face. 

"I'll be looking at the moon, but I'll be seeing you." 
All my love forever, your red-haired "sugar lamb" granddaughter, 
- JM -