Dear Grandma

Today is October 25th 2022, your birthday, you would be 80 years old today. I miss you. Every now and then I pull up old photos or videos of you and smile, then cry as I go through them. I recently started writing a journal. It's something I've always wanted to do but felt weird doing until someone told me how they were journaling by writing letters to people. I thought about who I would write letters to and you were the only one I wanted to write to. It just so happened I started it a few days before the anniversary of your passing.

Birthdays are meant to be celebrated so I'm not sure if this is appropriate, but it's what was on my mind this morning. You. You loved reading, writing and especially journaling so I want to share this with you. I love you.



July 26, 2022


Dear Grandma,



This feels weird writing to you this way. You passed away July 30th 2014. In 4 days it will be 8 years since you passed. It doesn't seem that long, yet in some ways it feels like it's been 20 years. I think about you often. Even though I have to admit, as time goes by and life keeps getting busier, those times are less and less. I'm trying to change that. I drive by your old house almost every day though, and that makes me think of you. I see mom almost everyday, and she makes me think of you. Every once in a while i'll walk in a room somewhere and I smell you.




I had a baby boy almost 6 months ago. We named him Theodore. He's so great.

I'm in such a different place in my life now with him than I was with Olivia. I almost forgot you weren't here when Olivia was born.



There's so much to tell you. I pray you are in Heaven and you already know all of these things, but I want to tell you anyway. I've been trying really hard to become a better man, someone I could be proud of. Someone you'd be proud of. I've heard that writing helps get your thoughts out. So I'm giving it a try. You used to write every night. I remember that.

I sure do miss you. I wish you were still here so you could meet Hannah, Annabelle, Olivia and Theo.



I think I went to rehab June of 2013 because I remember watching fireworks in the distance at the rehab I was at. I came home and stayed sober for a year. I think God knew I needed to be sober then. Not long after I came home we found out you had cancer. They gave you 8 months to live. You refused treatment or surgery. I can't say I blame you completely. I remember almost reaching my 1 year mark when you were getting really bad. I remember having a few beers at Brenda's house where I was staying at the time and calling you. I was sitting on the back steps. I was emotional. Partly because of the beer. I told you how much I loved you. You told me you loved me too. I remember crying like a baby on Brenda's back porch as I hung up the phone.

And then, a few days later, I remember being in Nashville on a job and getting the call from Uncle Rory. I remember dropping everything and coming to see you. It was like you waited for me. I remember holding your hand, and I remember your last breath. I watched mom lose her mother, her best friend and a piece of who she was. I remember feeling like you were in the room, floating over us. I kept telling you I loved you, I wasn't looking at you laying there anymore, I was looking up. I carried you to the van. And I said goodbye. I remember that.

I don't remember much after that though. I started drinking pretty heavy again. I'm not going to lie, I used your death as an excuse to drink. It hurt. You were the first person in our family, the first person that passed away that meant what you meant to me. I didn't just love you, you were and are a part of me. I understand how mom feels. Maybe not completely, but I get it.

I'm getting stronger though.


Happy Birthday,

Mikel




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