have you ever missed someone before they were really gone?
it happens to me in relationships, I tend to know when things are close to ending before they do.
I miss my grandma already, but she's here.
she's the most amazing woman I have ever known.
my grandfather passed away when I was 3, and I remember him like it was yesterday. he was so caring and incredibly tall (or was it just that I was incredibly small). I think she's missed him every day since he's been gone. but she's always been very courageous and strong. and would never let anyone know that she's missed him so much.
for the past 5 years I've driven with her back and forth between her warm weather house and her house here, near her family in Colorado. and on our 13 hour road trips I've come to know some funny, sad and entertaining things about my grandparents that I would probably never have known otherwise. .. such as, my grandfather swept my already-engaged-to-another-man grandma off her feet!
our trips also made me feel special, as she would never let anyone but me drive with her. my siblings, cousin, aunt and mom all tried to give me a break in the past. but she would always insist to everyone that she was perfectly capable of driving herself... except to me.
it could be because I used to drive the same insane length of road trips solo between college and home.
it could be because I share a few of her traits. (I'm sometimes courageous and strong, but always rather stubborn. so, I'd just give her a call and ask when we were going on our next road trip adventure, and she'd simply tell me the date, knowing full well that I would not be talked out of it.)
but I mostly want to believe its because I am ever-so-slightly her favorite.
for several reasons, this spring my mom made the trip with her. and they made the trip without any problems. she's even adjusting to the altitude change better than this time last year. so I should be ecstatic.
but somehow I'm sad, I miss her already.
I missed driving with her this year, I miss her stubbornness at only letting me drive her, and I miss the feeling of specialness she imparted on me with that decision, whether intended or not.
and I'm scared of really losing her, too. she turns 90 this summer. she's as sharp as I ever remember her being. she's survived the Great Depression and breast cancer and raising two wonderful and different women with grace and beauty. but I worry that plain old everyday life may be getting to her, slowly eroding her strength and courage.
so I called her tonight. I talked to her and told her that I missed driving her this time. she told me I was sweet and she loved me very much.
I told her I loved her, too. that I am looking forward to driving her this fall. she said that sounded good.
and as I hung up the phone I realized that it's silly to miss someone before they're gone. what's important is celebrating every minute we get to spend with the people we love, doing the things we love... and telling them we love them.
and I intend to begin my celebration tonight!