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With today being the Thanksgiving holiday, it's only natural to reflect on what one is thankful for. This year though, more than ever, I've been focused on those things in my life for which I'm truly grateful, including family and relationships.

This week, my beloved grandmother, known as "Gram" to her nine grandchildren, passed away at the age of 89. 

We're very fortunate as a family to have had time to say our final goodbyes and I love yous. But even with time "to prepare" including a final trip in September to see her, and final calls to let her know how much I love and appreciate her, the pain of her death has been so much more intense than I imagined. 

I am so fortunate to have had so much time to get to know her, both as a young child and through my transition into adulthood. Despite living five hours away growing up, we saw her every Christmas, she attended my graduations and wedding, and even traveled to see me compete in various sports and activities. She was a pillar of my life, there to hold me up in good times and in bad.

She was a very special woman and an amazing grandmother, who had a unique bond with each of her 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. We all knew how much she loved us and how much we meant to her. In fact, she ended each letter or conversation with those sentiments, most frequently, "Love you always." 

This week as I read through the cards and letters from her that I had saved over the years, the love I have for her, and the love she has for me, was only further cemented in my mind. 

I'm intensely grateful for the relationship I had with my Gram. To know that someone loves you that deeply and unconditionally is a truly priceless thing. This Thanksgiving, I hope everyone can take the time to not only reflect on what we're thankful for, but also to let those you love know it. 

Love you always, Gram. Life just won't be the same without you.

Comments 9

Comments

sj
11/26/2015 at 1:37 PM

Very sweet tribute.

Tee
11/27/2015 at 9:29 PM

Wonderful tribute. So sorry for your loss.

Tammara
11/27/2015 at 11:07 PM

Very touching. Sorry for your loss.

mp
12/1/2015 at 12:47 AM

I know a bit of how you're feeling -- my dad passed away last year at 85. It was a relief for me, as he'd suffered from Alzheimer's for a decade, but my daughter, who was more her father than her biological dad, is still struggling with it. And my mom, his wife of 65 years, has gone from hale and hearty to very frail. Sending good wishes and comfort.

Laurie Kazimer
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
Beautiful, Wendy - the picture of your Gram, and the sentiments of your writing!
Michelle Tilley Oblinsky
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandmother last Christmas. I miss her every day.
Holly Laffoon
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
A lovely tribute - surely you meant as much to her as she did to you.
In a DC Minute
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
We're so sorry for your loss. We echo the words of others, this is a touching tribute.
Lisa Veillette Gilmore
5/19/2016 at 10:02 PM
So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute.
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