“Your Grandmother would be so proud of you.” In my adult life I don’t remember many times that I visited my Aunt Shirley when she hasn’t spoken these words to me. As our visit would end she would always tell me how much she loved me and how proud she was of me, followed by how proud my grandmother, her mother, would be of me. It wasn’t just me, she conveyed this message to each of my sisters as well.
It’s been 46 years since my grandmother passed away. Although I was quite young I have some fond, but limited, memories of her. In a recent conversation with Aunt Shirley she added the words “I really miss her,” referring to her mother. I immediately knew the pain she was feeling.
It was about seven and a half years ago when my mother passed away. There was never any doubt how much my mother loved her family. Most of my adult life we spoke either on the phone or in person, nearly every day. This changed some when Mom became ill, but even then our conversations always revolved around things my kids were doing. Mom loved to hear about every little and big achievement. She spent much time with them when they were young and she had many of her own grandkid stories to tell. There was nothing Mom loved more than her Grandkids.
There have been so many times over the last seven years that I have longed to call my mom and share with her the all of the thing my girls are doing. There have been weddings and graduations and new jobs and promotions and babies – my grand babies – her great grand babies. Oh I just know how thrilled “how proud” she would be. Though I haven’t spoke the words to them I often hear Aunt Shirley’s words echoed in my mind. I now realize that they have a several meanings. At face value, her words, “your Grandmother would be so proud,” have served to keep the memory of my grandmother alive and convey messages of approval about things I am doing with my life. I am now aware that each time she says these words she is missing her Mom and I can sympathize with that.
In all honesty the reason that I have never spoken these words is because of the sadness that I feel when I am missing my mom. I don’t want to share this sadness with my children and make them sad as well. As I write this I realize that this sadness is a good thing. It means that there was value in that relationship and it is something that could not be replaced. I realize that for the rest of my life I will have these sad moments when I miss my mom, so I will allow myself to be sad while remembering what a blessing it was to have her in my life, to have known her and to have loved her.
To my daughters and my nieces and nephews: I don’t know if I will ever speak the words to you but I do know that your Grandmother would be proud of you.
Thank you for reading. 🙂