This morning I awoke abruptly to the sweet tender voice of my grandmother, whispering in my ear, telling me that everything was going to be okay and that everything was going to work out. Its been three years since I have heard her actual words, and unsure why this morning I felt her so near, and miss her so much.
I have a precious relationship with my grandmother. I 'd say out of her 16 grandchildren, I most likely was her favorite, or at least she made me feel that way. Though I am pretty sure she didn't have a favorite. I just like to pretend I was hers. Though unlike many of my cousins or the friends I grew up with I had the rare opportunity to live near her, attend church with her and visit weekly with her while growing up. Definitely a special relationship developed between us as we spent time together. I try to block out the memories of "sleeping" in her front room, sun still blazing, neighbor kids playing at 7:00 in the summer, as I lay watching from the window.
While in college I'd go and visit with her on the weekends, and shop in her pantry. We'd sit and hang out, and Grand-Dad would fill me in on how my high school team was doing in football.
Over the years, as I lived in Texas I spoke on the phone with her several times a week, mostly just to say hi.
Then that Friday morning, when my mom phoned to tell me I needed to fly to Utah because she most likely wasn't going to make it through the weekend. I quickly called Eric and he made arrangements for my flight that afternoon. Several of my friends chipped in and took the kids for me, so I could fly out immediately.
When I arrived I stayed the evening with my little sister Alyson. Then the next morning I went over to my parent's house to hang out with everyone. The amazing thing, my grandmother while on her last breaths, literally she had pneumonia and a hole in her lungs, couldn't stop asking me questions. I rubbed her feet as she continued to ask about the kids, and Eric and work and life. At that point we were trying to sell our house and figure out what we were doing with Hawaii and the family and Eric's work. She and I just talked. There were other people there visiting and coming in and out, but I just hung with my Grandmother.
As I was preparing to leave, I went over and hugged my grandmother, gave her a kiss. I whispered in her ear that I loved her. I wanted so very much to say to her "I will see you tomorrow." But was over whelmed by the spirit, that this was my last moment with her, and to tell her "I love you, and want you to know that you have lived an amazing life, we will all miss you, but it really is ok for you to leave this body that is causing you so much pain. I love you." She told me she loved me too. And with a heavy heart and tears I left the room.
As I went to sleep that night, I prayed that we would all be comforted, and I fell asleep. In the early hours of the morning, I dreamt my grandmother was standing in her long pale blue sheer nightgown, next to my bed, rubbing my cheek with her soft pale hands. She bent down and whispered in my ear "I love you Corrine, and want you to know everything is going to work out. I will make sure of it." She kissed me on the cheek and was gone. Not but a few seconds later my sister came to the door, I sat up and said "I know."
For the longest time I could feel her watching over me. I could see her hands in things I did. Every once in a while I'd get a whiff of her perfume. And as the ache of losing her faded so did the feeling of her closeness.
And I have to say the last year and half have been emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually trying on me. And maybe it is coincidence that last night I felt her near me, maybe its a reminder that she is still watching out for me. Or maybe she has been busy and now has realized how much I need her help and is back watching me more closely...or just giving me that little bit of encouragement I have been needing. Whatever it is or was, I am grateful for her and my relationship. And the faith that she has in me to help me succeed.
Life reaches further than the grave. Bodies are buried but spirits live on. I know this. I am grateful to know that I have some people on my team. And am even more grateful to have had the experience of knowing my Grandmother the way I did. And knowing that one day again, I will see her.