My Mom’s family has a traditional goodbye saying. Sure Love Ya. It means goodbye, see you soon and you might drive me crazy sometimes but we’re still family. I have no idea how many times I’ve said that expression in my life. It’s probably been at least a million times. There is another tradition. Before ending a family gathering, we all huddle in a circle like a sports team and shout the saying. “Sure love ya.” The circle keeps getting bigger as more and more people join the family.
It’s confession time. The teenage me thought it was an embarrassing tradition. I hated it! I only did it because my mother said I had to do it. I was confident that we were the only family in the entire universe that would do something like that.
My Grandma died this year. She was my last remaining grandparent Earth-side. We couldn’t meet with Grandma as a large family group to celebrate her birthday like we’ve done in the past. This year we meet on Zoom. It was fun to see various relatives as little Zoom boxes on the screen. We ended our short party with “Sure Love Ya”. It was both sad and beautiful at the same time.
I think I finally understand why Grandma liked us to huddle up and express love. I think she was trying to ensure that we still loved each other even after she left us.
That is what I will remember most about my grandmother Marjorie Hill Smith. She loved.
I loved my Grandma very much. I will miss her. I know I’m not the only person on Earth who has lost someone they loved this year. There are many souls who are grieving right now. 2020. It’s been a crazy year. I haven’t really liked this year. It’s been hard. REALLY HARD! I’m ready for 2020 to be over and just a chapter in a history textbook.
I have learned something this year though. I’ve learned that love is one of the few constants in our crazy, ever-changing world.
I’m a bit of a philosopher and at times my thoughts and their accompanying feelings overpower my very mortal body. Grief is hard work. I’m grieving right now. It’s exhausting. I’m grieving the loss of marriage, my home and the dreams I expected to achieve. I’m starting to see and accept the difficult things related to my former marriage. I’m grieving that knowledge. It was so much easier to remain in the confusing fog, and believe that things would ultimately get better if I just tried harder. I know that’s a little cryptic, but this is a public blog. The details aren’t as important as the acknowledgement that I’m grieving.
I miss my neighbors and friends from my old life. I still have their friendships, but it’s not the same. Things feel different. It’s no one’s fault. It can happen when you move to a different part of town. You drift apart. The times you do see your old neighbors and friends are sweet. It’s just not the same as before because you don’t see them every week. I’m old enough to know it’s not personal. It’s just how life works at times. People come and go in your life. You move on. You change. They change. Sometimes people stay in your life for a season and sometimes they remain your lifelong companion. That’s part of life. It’s just hard to accept all the changes.