The Power of Remembrance

Sep 19, 2011
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This week was my grandmother’s birthday. Now, my grandmother hasn’t celebrated a birthday with me in a few years; however, I have learned to celebrate on my own.

My grandmother and I were extremely close. Shortly after finishing college, we began a weekly tradition of dinner and trashy television watching. It was an event that I looked forward to every week. Beyond that, we would spend many Sunday afternoons over pizzas and pastas and pies, (apparently, she was concerned about my ability to eat on my own) discussing each other’s worlds and enjoying each other’s company.

Getting caught up in your daily life of heating bills and arguments at work, I am not quite sure that I understood at the time just how special those times with my grandmother were—that is, until I couldn’t enjoy them any longer.

She became ill right before my eyes. The cancer wrapped around her so quickly that she barely even had enough time to acknowledge it, all the while having far too much time to suffer. There is not a moment that goes by that I don’t think of my grandmother and how she would feel about the choices that I make and the experiences that I am having, without her by my side. The absolute worst part about death is the realization that those people that you care so deeply for cannot be a part of your world anymore.

Since her death, I have bought a house, become an aunt, lived a summer in India, and become an elite-level swimmer, among other things. I can’t help but picture my grandmother’s soft face and extended smile as I attempt to share these worldly moments with her, even though she’s not here.

I sometimes catch myself daydreaming and sharing those experiences with her—she would have absolutely hated India mostly because of its stench; she would have loved my house, just so long as she didn’t see the before shots; and she would have cuddled and squeezed my niece so much that we all would have been in tears!

So, this week as I remember my grandmother and her lovely image, I offer the same to you. So many times we let life get in the way of what’s important, whether that important thing is present or not. Be with your memories and those extended smiles.

Author: Ryan McLean