My Grandmother was born on August 7, 1899. I will never forget the heartbreak I felt when my father told me she had passed away, four days before Christmas in 1996.
There are experiences we have in our lives, whether good or bad, that always stay with us. Losing my Grandmother almost sixteen years ago is something I will never recover from. She lived her life in complete and total good faith: faith in the love of her family, faith in the love of her friends, and most importantly, faith in God. When faced with hardships: burying her husband, losing sons in wars, and burying her children who lost their battles with cancer, she never asked God “Why?” Instead, she simply asked him for the strength to bring her through it.
When I married for the first time at age nineteen, my Grandmother gave me a rosary as a wedding gift. To this day, I always carry it with me. Some links are broken, a corner of the crucifix is broken off, and still, it remains with me, just as she does.
I have tried for a few weeks now to write a poem in her honor. But how can one write a poem, or write anything really, to sum up, to define, to explain how inspirational, how giving, how generous, how loving, and how beautiful the most inspirational person in our life was? I have been asked countless times why I am such a positive, happy person after everything I have faced in my life. The answer is quite simply because of the example my beloved Grandmother set for me.
I have been unable to write a poem for my Grandmother. Instead, I found one that touched me, and made me think of her:
Light a candle, Missing you
Light a candle,
See it glow,
Watch it dance,
When you feel low,
Think of me,
Think of light,
I’ll always be here,
Day or night,
A candle flickers,
Out of sight,
But in your heart,
I still burn bright,
Think not of sadness,
That I’m not near,
Think of gladness,
And joyous cheer,
I have not left,
I am not gone,
I’m here to stay
My little one,
So when you light a candle
And you see it glow
And you watch it dance
In your heart you’ll know
That I would never leave you
Even when you feel so blue
I’m sitting up here with the Lord
And now watching over you
(Source: Light A Candle, Missing You Poem www.FamilyFriendPoems.com)
She was a mother to fifteen children, and a grandmother to forty-two grandchildren. I could give you the number of great- and great-great- grandchildren, but that is a number that is still growing to this day. She left behind a family that mourned her deeply, that was affected tremendously at her loss (almost sixteen years after her passing, as I’m writing this, I’m crying, wishing she were here with me), but that still gathers to celebrate the life that she lived, the example she set of how to truly live a life, and how to hold onto your faith, always.
She left behind a legacy of unconditional love that continues on, and will continue on with her spirit in each of us.
Happy Birthday Grandma. Not a day goes by that I do not think of you and all you have given to me.
This is beautiful Amber. You’re grandmother sounds very much like mine. She has advanced dementia, but she always recognizes me. I dread losing her, but I know the day is coming. I will always remember her strength, wisdom and faith. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind words Michelle!
Amber, your grandmother sounds much like mine. She died in 1992 and I think of her every day. She had a lot of hardship in her life yet she continued on, with a smile on her face most of the time. She made all her grandchildren feel special. Thanks for the memories.
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