This weekend recently marked the first full year since my grandmother has been gone.
I keep seeing little signs of her. Mostly hummingbirds. They were her favorite, and they’ve been popping up everywhere I look. I saw one in the form of a hand-felted ornament, and I brought her home with me. She watches over my bedside table now.
I’ve seen her in my apartment. I have a gorgeous hand mirror that used to belong to her, and occasionally, I’ll hold it up and swear I might have seen her reflection instead of mine.
Some of her earrings hang up on the bathroom wall, and sometimes I catch her gently putting them on, a glint of gold in the incandescent light.
Her old wooden spoon feels warm in my hand as I stir bread dough in the kitchen, and I can hear her voice above me, guiding me through her cheese biscuit-making lessons.
As I was sorting through a stack of old birthday cards, congratulations, and letters, I came across a little envelope with my name spelled out in slanting capital script. As I pulled out the contents, I found a recipe in my grandmother’s hand, a small newspaper clipping, and a short note. Signed Grammy. With oodles and boodles and forty kidoodles of love.
Each time I remember her is another moment I have to heal. The ache always requires healing. Every single time. I know it will never end.
But I don’t want it to. The ache is what I have left.