It's been a year and I miss you more and more.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

For years I loved April Fools Day, and one of the best pranks I ever pulled was hiding under my desk at my old sales job and having the VP and my co-workers convince my boss I had just up and quit.  I had packed my desk up and hid the box under a co-workers desk while listening to my boss frantically try and call me and search the parking lot for my car.  I know it sounds so mean and a harsh joke, I worked in a very fun and laid-back office and our boss would constantly joke with and on us too.

But last year, that day, such a fun prankster day, changed for me.  I lost my beautiful Nana on 4/1/2014...this day, last year.  I reflect back to that day and the days that followed, remembering the raw emotions our family felt and being there for my mother, who had just lost her best friend.  It is never easy losing someone you love, and while life goes on and the pain gets better, I find myself missing her more and more every day.

She was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer right after Thanksgiving 2013, a month before my son was born.  And she fought her battle with courage, strength, and love during those last short months.  I will never forget her crying and telling my mom she was just sad that she may never get to meet her very first great grandson, my baby boy Ryan.  And honestly, that was one of my biggest fears and heartaches.  Ryan was too young to travel those first months of his life, especially in the dead of winter.  It was hard knowing I was in Tennessee with my new baby, and my Nana was in Virginia fighting for her life.

I had a hard time coping with it. All of our family was able to by her side during those last months, but I was so far away.  I wanted to be there, in every moment, to help her.  We did get to chat via Facetime and she got to see Ryan from afar but it broke my heart that I didn't know if she would make it until we were able to bring Ryan home.

When we knew, the last week of March 2014, that it was the end, I had the mad desire to be there with her in those final moments, to let her know I was there, and to bring Ryan to her.  I couldn't let her go without getting to see her great grandson.  Russell and I packed up the baby and drove 14 hours and made it to her on her very last night she was awake.  Her eyes locked with Ryan, and although she couldn't speak, she smiled.  I gave her one of the things she wanted most, to meet her great grandson. It crushed me that she couldn't hold him, but she locked eyes with him, we placed her hand on him, and savored those moments.  She passed 2 days later.

I miss her.  I miss her terribly.  I watch Ryan grow up and it hurts to know that she isn't here to see it, but I am comforted in knowing that she got to meet him.  And the memories, there are always the wonderful memories.  She was there for my dance recitals, my high school graduation, graduating from college, my wedding, my baby shower.... countless, beautiful memories. She was married to a man she adored, raised 4 children, and loved ALL of her grandchildren (and there are a TON of us).  Her family was her world.

 As this day is a reminder of our family's loss but Heaven's gain, it is also a reminder of our strong love for her, as her memory lives on in our hearts forever.

"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven, where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us, to let us know they are happy." - Unknown