Even though she called herself shy, she could make conversation with anyone. She looooved to talk, but she was an even better listener. She was positive and optimistic, sometimes to the point of being silly. She didn't like to cook, but she was a great bread-baker and candy-maker. She loved fancy clothes, pretty jewelry, and big hair. She hated cleaning. She was genuinely interested in people, believing in them and wanting the best for them. She was a writer and a piano-player. She was very religious.
When I was little, she used to take my brother and I on "Nature Walks." Basically, you get a paper bag and while you're walking, fill the bag with the treasures that you find along the way: leaves, flowers, and the occasional bug or two.
Earlier this week as I was taking the boys on a Nature Walk, and it kind of came into focus why it doesn't feel like four years have passed... it's because the older I get, the more she is with me. I'll do something or say something and think, "That was so Grandma!" (And let's not even get started on how similar she and my mom are, or how similar my mom and I are... we won't even go there.)
Thirty-one years is a long time to know a person, and even though she's gone, every time I really listen to someone's issues or add just one more piece of jewelry to my outfit, I know that I carry her with me. It's not a conscious thing, but she is a part of who I am, and becomes more so as I grow in to a better wife, mother, and friend.
How lucky I am to not have to lose her? I'll carry her with me until I see her again.
"i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)"