This Blanket I Carry

It's been almost two months since the day when I made the longest walk ever from my car to my grandma's front door. I got the call nobody wants to make or answer at 6 o'clock that morning. The drive to Cleburne on a rainy Sunday morning was surreal. There were moments during that drive when I wondered if this was really true. What if I got to my grandma's and nobody was there. I turned the corner and there they were. All of the cars of all of our people. I practically parked at the other end of the block. I wanted to sit on the curb and stop time. If I didn't walk through the door  and look into my Dad's face or hug my brothers then it wasn't real. It didn't happen.

I walked in to a house filled with our family. Everyone sharing the last time they hugged her and talked to her. Some asking questions. Some still in disbelief.

It took me a while to get through the house hugging everyone. Every section of the house brought on a new wave of tears.

 My yada yada aunt was at the end. She let me hug her while she spoke truth and strength into my soul. In my family's dynamic I'm one of the oldest cousins. That means I use my voice a lot. I'm one of the Bigs. I'm encouraging and strong and love big. I feel that's my job as a Big. By the time I got to her I felt anything but strong. I wanted to hide. I didn't want to be the strong one. I couldn't. My heart was broken. 

How could this be? We were just visiting the night before and giggling that she had had such great weeks recently and immediately she gets herself to Mexico. 

Almost two months later and I'm still processing. Some days the tears are far away and joy fills my heart with memories of her. Other days those memories bring on tears unexpectedly.

I'm learning that grief is completely unpredictable and wild.

Everything else in life gets better with time. The new normal sets in and all feels better again. Not grief. It covers my day with a blanket of sad. Some days that blanket brings tears and heavy sadness. Others it brings only happy memories of her. All days God comforts me with His promises that I will see her again when He returns. All days He holds my hand and lets me feel all of the "unpredictable-don't -ask-permission" feelings.

Today was a sad day.

If I'm honest, the sadness has been getting heavier and heavier over the last few weeks. I didn't want to stop and journey through it though. It's sad. Instead I would boss the tears away and reach for God's hand. Eventually the sadness gets too heavy and tears must fall.

Today the tears fell.

On that Sunday morning everyone had a "last time I saw her" story but me. It had been far too long. I missed some precious time with her. I own that. I would do it differently if I could go back. Instead I'll learn from it. Sometimes you just make the time. No matter how hard or long the drive is ... you make the time. No matter the schedules or the season of life you are in ... you make the time. God has been placing community on my heart lately. Family was one of her core values. She loved us all BIG. That's why she loved us all and met us where we were. True she would shoot you straight with some hard truths sometimes but she would also love you just as hard. And those truths were delivered from a place of love...always.

I'll always miss her. 

One day I'll be a fully invested, loving grandma like her and follow her beautiful example.

I'm so thankful God placed her in my life. I'm grateful for the way she poured into our family.