Nostalgia - things remembered

The last few mornings have been a little rough around here.
I think I've cried every single day before leaving my house. 
 Not like sobbing tears but just little crying jags here and there throughout my early morning routine.
It's becoming very clear to me that I really miss my Grandmother.
I heard a laugh through my headphones and the way the sound filtered through sounded like her.
I passed a woman on the subway and her perfume/scent reminded me of her and the hundreds of perfume bottles on her vanity.
Her birthday would've been in two weeks and it was just about this time last year that we found out her cancer came back.
Every time I begin to think about that dark time in my life I get a lump in my throat and my eyes well up with tears.
I feel like I'm not in that crazed,discombobulated place I was for the last 9 months but I still feel the loss.
The absence is very much fresh.
And just sitting here typing I can look out into my hallway and see the set of photos I took with her.
Just she and I. Some of she and Sweet Pea and my mom.
It breaks my heart.
That's all I have.
Except a few other small mementos - an angel from her collection, a hat she adored, a vase she sent me when she knew it was her time.
I hold on to these things tightly as it's my connection to her.
It's also vexing me because my Gramma had at least 20 family photo albums that spanned from her childhood through mine to the great grand kids.
And I have no idea who has them.
They are probably in a box at one of my aunts houses.
Ideally, I would have loved to bring those back with me, scan the pics and give everyone a copy as the majority of my childhood is contained within those pages.
This morning I started thinking that I was about the same age as Sweet Pea when my brother and I flew out to Ohio to visit my Gramma for the summer.
8 of the longest most fun and exciting weeks of my young life.
There was a barbecue (there always was with Gramma), trips to Cedar Point and Kings Island, visits to see our great aunt Evelyn and uncle Ash, midnight runs to Bunny's for foot long hot dogs, lots of "visiting the neighbors" and turning corners w/ the aunts.
Oh and lets not forget the long walks to the corner store for penny candy and late night games of Monopoly while watching classic black and white shows on Nick at Nite.
The nostalgia is almost stifling.
It makes me sad that Sweet Pea will never know her Grandma Mary the way I did.
But I am so blessed to have been able to have that time with her.
Every summer from then on I went to stay with her for a few weeks and I have so many vivid memories of sitting at the foot of her bed or in the infamous recliner and just learning about her life and that of my aunts, uncles & mother, sharing about mine and talking about life in general.
Those were the days.
As I sit and reflect - I thank God that I have these memories.
I thank Him for allowing me to have such a presence in my life growing up and for all the memories we shared.
I know that 'this too shall pass' and in time it will feel less like we are marking time without her but today, this week-my heart is sad.
I want to talk to her and hug her and tell her about my life.
I wish she had been at my wedding.
Sitting next to my parents, smiling on.
I miss her.
So very, very much.
Gramma, baby Sweet Pea and Me circa 2002


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