Before You Go

Grandma, 

It’s Makayla. You got to watch me grow up and now I’m watching you grow old. Thank God you still remember who I am. I was afraid to visit you today because I thought I might walk in and you would have no idea who I was. I know one day I will walk into the nursing home smiling, and you’ll ask if I’m an employee and maybe request another glass of water from me. If that happens, I will bring it to you and your faith in the younger generation will be restored by my generosity. Maybe you’ll tell me that my mom is so lucky to have me or that you would love to have me as a granddaughter because I’m such a great helper. 

I’m sorry this letter is a jumbled mess, but I’m writing it with tears cascading down my face onto my keyboard. I’m thinking about all the time I spent with you and how strong you were to raise six kids and then watch your husband go. It’s okay, I will remember everything for the both of us. I will never forget how supportive you have always been of me and my interest in music. When I told you that I was in choir and playing piano in junior high, you acted like I had just gotten a huge record deal and requested songs for me to play. You listened to my rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” and smiled just like you were listening to a Beethoven symphony in Carnegie Hall. You taught me to dare to be passionate about things. I remember hearing you say a cuss word for the first time and I, of course, had to ask my mom what it meant. I remember you sneaking more cookies for me when my mom wasn’t looking. I remember you beating me by a landslide in checkers, and now I reteach you the game every time so you can beat me again. I will never forget how you watched me find words on a word search, possibly the most boring activity to watch, but you marveled at every word I found. Most of all I remember how you made me feel loved. 

I don’t wish that you were less stubborn because that taught me to be determined and to stick up for what I want, but I would love to see you let us take care of you. You have been so strong and independent for so long; it is time for you to be pampered. 

Each time I leave you I hug you so tight and I hold on for so long, so the tears have time to dry on my face. I don’t want you to see me sad because it feels so selfish of me to worry you with my tears. Still, you’re slipping through my fingers, each time I see you getting further from the person I knew before. I know that you know what’s happening. I see the guilt in your face when you forget something about me, but you haven’t done anything wrong. Your memory may fade but I know your love for me never will. I hope you know how much I love you, but I will always be here to remind you of that.

Love, 

Makayla