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A Hole In My Heart

August 8, 2011

This is my grandmother, she is holding back my hair at my 8th birthday party in this picture. Today is the 7th anniversary of her death and I always like to pause on this day and remember her. She helped raise me and was an amazing woman, I wouldn’t be who I am without her help in raising me. We loved Anne of Green Gables, and since she and Anne both had red hair, I would always call her Carrots, like Gilbert does in the book.

She always taught me that “pretty is as pretty does.” I got my love of reading from snuggling in bed with her and reading stories before bed.  Always reading with her and the stuffed bunny she (I mean the Easter Bunny) gave me when I was six. That bunny still sits on a shelf in my bedroom all these years later. I have her long legs, and my blue eyes came from her father. I sing along with Willie Nelson every time I hear ‘On the Road Again’ and I think of and driving down to our farm in the mountains. Catching tadpoles in the stream there, listening to the rain on the tin roof of the farm house or running through the tobacco fields we owned. She taught me how to eat crab legs and how to walk with a book balanced on my head. I swore, and always will, that I will never smoke because I hated how she always had a cigarette in her hand. I remember traveling out of the country for the first time when I was eight and she took me to Germany, I remember her letting me show my very own passport to the customs agent in Hamburg, because she let me pretend that I was a grown up. I still can’t make her vegetable soup or bean soup. I’ve got the chicken noodle down, but I always screw up when I try and made her country gravy for biscuits and I’ve yet to get the skillet fried potatoes just right. She hated it when I would curse, and made me promise I would stop, I still struggle with that.

She always made sure that I wasn’t without anything (well, the things that mattered). She was my anchor through every storm. I can remember her sitting on the front step of the house when my Mom and I loaded up to make the eight hour drive to get me to the South for college… eleven years ago this month. I remember that last day that I saw her those seven years ago, July 4, 2004. I had been home in The Fort for May-July before heading back South to start grad school. I left to drive back early on the 4th, she wasn’t awake yet, so I stood in the doorway of her bedroom and blew her a kiss and said a prayer. And a month later I didn’t have her anymore. That summer had been very rough for her and she went when it was her time, and I know that. It doesn’t make me miss her any less. Even seven years later, she still is with me in small ways every day. I moved through my grief a long time ago, but I don’t think you ever truly stop missing someone you loved. I am not sure you are supposed to.

About a year ago, I heard this song by Jewel, called “The Shape of You.” I think it pretty well describes the sadness and acceptance of losing someone you love.

September settles softly

Leaves are starting to fall

I recall for the last time you were here

You left a melody that lingers still

There’s a hole in my heart

and I carry it wherever i go

Like a treasure that travels with me down every road.

there’s this longing lonesome deep

kind of bitter kind of sweet

there’s a hole in my heart

in the shape of you

Time stealing swiftly

As children having children of their own

And around life’s merry go round goes

and there you are watching what you cannot hold

There’s a hole in my heart

and I carry it wherever i go

Like a treasure that travels with me down every road.

there’s this longing lonesome deep

kind of bitter kind of sweet

there’s a hole in my heart

in the shape of you

even though my heart aches

there’s a smile on my face

cause just like a window to heaven

there’s a light shining through

there’s a hole in my heart…

There’s a hole in my heart

There’s a hole in my heart

There’s a hole in my heart

But it’s in the shape of you…….

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