We just passed the 5 year anniversary of my step-grandmother’s passing. What hurts my heart every year is that while it took me several years to accept her into my heart, she had always counted me as her own – right from the start. I didn’t know her as well as I would have liked, but I have been blessed to know her more through her daughter – my wonderful bonus-mom. I am sad that my beautiful daughters never got to meet her. I was never able to afford to make it out to Boise to visit after we moved home from Germany, and there was always this sense of having more time … until we didn’t. My two older girls never got to feel her hugs, that enveloping warmth and love she had for all of us. It is through the words of those who knew her the best that she is best memorialized. One of her nieces wrote: Aunt Nola was always happy and optimistic and generous with her time and love. And a cousin of hers said that she was always a joy to be around. And while we always idolize those we’ve lost, Nola truly was a special, loving, generous, warm, welcoming person. I’m honored that she counted me as one of her grandchildren, and I will treasure being able to know her even a little while.
I came across a poem the other day in one of my boxes that she had given to all of her grandchildren one year for Christmas, and it seems fitting to share it, as she’s been on my heart the last couple of weeks.
Some days are warm and sunny and bright,
And whatever you do seems to turn out just right.
But some days are cold and cloudy and gray,
and it seems that the darkness will never go away.
You try very hard to smile and be glad,
But on a gray day it’s much easier to be sad.
So just for those times when you’re feeling down,
And all that your mouth seems to do is to frown,
Remember a secret to chase clouds away,
to turn the worst storm into a sunshiny day.
I’ve gathered some sunbeams, a rainbow or two,
And even some star dust, to shine just for you.
This light I’ve collected has magical powers
to make you all warm, safe, and happy for hours.
So fill all your pockets, and even your shoes.
You’ll always have plenty, the more that you use.
Whenever you’re lonely, just look high above,
And grab the next sunbeam,
from Grandma, with love.