It's beautiful outside. Warm, breezy, feels like a late spring or early summer day. I woke up to a sun-filled room, and a quiet house. I got ready for the day, and picked out one of my favorite lightweight dresses.
The same dress I happened to be wearing the day my grandmother died. The last thing she saw me in.
It's not the first time I've worn it since she died, but it's the first day in a while. It hasn't been the first day it's been warm out, but it's been the first in a while. The beginning of spring will always remind me of her. She loved gardening, and flowers, and preparing for trips to the beach - all things that this warm weather brings.
I remember a couple weeks after she passed away, how I was driving to work and going back to "normal" and I looked up at the beautiful blue sky. The trees were blooming and the birds were chirping. And it just hit me - she'll never get to see that again. I won't get to look up at the same sky and share that with her, ever again.
I regret not spending more time with her. I regret not calling her more often. I regret not going to visit more often. For some reason, I just always was counting on having more time together. More opportunities to bond, to learn about her life. I should have called her after her shoulder surgery. I should have called her on Easter Sunday, when she was at home instead of singing in choir at her church, where I know she wanted to be.
I wish I had asked her more when we were in the hospital, rather than just rambling about what was new with me. I was scared, and just wanted to talk to her to make her feel better. I wish I had asked all of us to be in that room with her before she went for the scan. I wish we had called my parents to have my dad talk to his mom one last time.
But, there just wasn't enough time. And I don't regret the time we did have, I just wish we could have done more with it.
I think about where I was a year ago. I had a different job. I didn't openly call myself a wedding planner. Our house was very differently arranged. I was gearing up for a crazy busy spring and summer, and was wondering when I'd make time for my husband, let alone my family.
But now, I'm busier with both my day job and with Chickadee, but am learning how to balance it more. We have a piano that's struggling to stay in tune, and a clock that doesn't always work, and a beautiful hydrangea that I can't wait to see bloom again this spring. This is what's new. But it holds a little piece of my past. Sometimes, when I open the chamber of the wall clock to wind it or restart the pendulum, I'll hold it open to let the smell of my grandmother's house waft out. It's amazing how a smell can trigger a whole flood of memories and bring a smile to your face.
It hasn't been a year yet, but in so many ways it feels like ages ago that we went through this loss. But in so many other ways, especially on days like today, it feels like it could have been today. So it stings a little bit more. Hurts a little deeper. Makes me press pause on the "busy" and remember what matters. Nothing is more important than family. The old and the new. At the end of it all, it will be the same.