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Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A letter to you.

Dear Grandma:

I've thought and thought and thought about how I wanted to express my thoughts on all of this, and the other night as I was laying in the hotel bed (at 12:30am when I couldn't sleep because of everything that's been on my mind) it came to me. I'm going to write you a letter.

When we first moved to Idaho, one of my absolute favorite memories is when I would get something in the mail from you. I loved reading your handwritten (and sometimes typed) letters. They were full of things to make me giggle, and things to make me feel warm and fuzzy, all around.

You were really good at doing that.

One of my favorite packages came a week after we had talked and I told you that I had Strep Throat. I remember laying on the couch, feeling absolutely horrible, when my mom came in from work with a box.

"Your Grandma sent you something today."

I opened that box and there was my very own Grandma-made wubbie, with a handwritten letter to help me forget that I was even sick.

It's been years since that day, yet I still have that wubbie, and I'm very protective of it. It is ripped and sewn in 3 different places, and the pillow is hanging on by a few threads but it is the best blanket anyone could ask for. (You know how that is. You loved your wubbie the same.)


So, where to start? I'm not sure, but I do want you to know that I miss you.

A lot.

I think about you every. single. day. Sometimes it's great because I can think of you and the wonderful memories we have, and smile and I'm okay. But sometimes, it's not as easy. And, then the times that something else is on my mind, the wind will blow, and I will hear the wind chimes and immediately I know you are there with me, and it's comforting.

Speaking of wind chimes. That was really clever. We were (mostly) all in different rooms at the time, and at the time we heard the chimes, we all came together in the living room, and we knew you were okay at that moment. Thank you for that. :)

People probably think I'm crazy, Grandma...I'm so used to calling you on a daily basis that now instead of calling...I pretty much just talk to you. Well, I still call your phone sometimes to hear your voice. The voice that says "See ya later" at the end.


I let you know when I make it somewhere safely, because I always have. I talk to you out loud lots of times when I'm driving by myself. It helps me and calms me down, so I know you are listening.

We had lots of family come down for your funeral, which was nice. It's been a really long time since we've all been together. I wish it was for another reason though. I know we all do. It's sort of a weird feeling when you know everyone has the same thing on the back of their mind, yet, we're trying so hard to make the best of the situation.

Speaking of your funeral though, it was beautiful. I finally met Judge Robertson and Harry Papasideris. You've talked about them all these years and I always sort of pictured what they looked like by the way you described them. I saw them at the viewing. Harry walked right up to me and asked how I was related. When I was able to contain the tears enough to tell him I was your granddaughter, he smiled and said he knew me because of how much you'd talked about me. I saw Judge Robertson and knew right away who it was. She came over, and we talked for quite some time. We talked about how wonderful you were, and she asked what your favorite color was. I think she sent some flowers to the house. I can't even explain how wonderful it was for me to meet those two. You always talked about them, and it was nice to put a face to all of the wonderful things I'd heard.

Travis was a Pallbearer, along with Dad, Uncle Mike and Tom, Uncle David, and Otto. They all looked very nice.

The service was wonderful. I wanted so badly to stand up there and tell everyone how special you were to me, but I couldn't. It was really hard for me. Alexis was nice enough to read a talk that I'd put together. I told three of my favorite stories/memories (that time with Dad and the spider, the cranberry juice hospital story, and of course..the stand tall to lead us all story), and it seemed like everyone was laughing. That was good.

That week is something I don't want to remember as much as I keep you in my thoughts and memories, but there are a few things I do want to remember, so I have noted them here and elsewhere.

You know how you always give Grandpa crap about using his finger when he talks. You say he wouldn't be able to do anything without his finger goin the whole time he's talking? Well, on our last day with you, your finger was going just as much as Grandpas. I thought it was cute.

I'm so glad I was able to leave work and see you there at the hospital. I know you're happy I was there too. I needed to hear you tell me you loved me one more time. And, the hug is something I will always remember, along with the many many hugs you always gave us :)

Linda Mae came down on August 3rd, and now I know why you always talked so much of her. She is so sweet! I know I've met her before, but I couldn't remember. I was really young. I felt like I knew her so well though, because of how you talked of her. I don't blame you though. I think she is such a great lady, and you know what? She really reminds me of you. We went to a gig at the Rio Tinto stadium where the girls played, and I had so much fun hanging out with her, and getting to know her more. I can't believe how much she reminds me of you. I can totally see now how you guys would have so much fun together.

Well Grandma, it's taken me awhile to write this but I want you to know how much I miss you, and how thankful I am that you are my Grandma. I've learned so much from you and I can't wait to share your legacy with everyone, especially my children. I know I always told you this, but I truly hope I'm half as great as you are. I've always wanted to be just like you, and I will be. You've been the perfect example. So, thank you.

Oh yeah...I almost forgot! I went to Price this weekend, and I was freaking out because I forgot toothpaste, and didn't want to have to go to the store my first night there. I finally convinced myself that I would just have to go to the store anyway, either that or check with the Hotel front desk to see if they had any extra toothpaste. Once I got into Price though, I went to the back seat to grab my stuff, and on the floor of your car, in a sample box, was a brand new tube of toothpaste.

Thank you. :) You've always been there to save me from basically any situation. Big or little. Locked out of my car, or simply in the need of some toothpaste. It's good to know that you're still there, watching over me.

I know you don't want me to be sad, so I'm working on that. (It's hard though. Extremely hard.) I'm glad that you are no longer in pain, and I'm sure it was so nice to see your mom again. I just have to remind myself of how lucky I am to have had all of the time that we had together. I love you so, so much, and I miss your smile. I miss your advice. I miss your laugh. I miss how much you made me laugh. I miss your hugs, and how you always knew what kind of day I was having even before I told you. I miss house hunting together. I miss our talks. I miss calling you. I miss watching TV together, and shopping together. I miss my Grandma, and I want her back..but I know you are in a better place. So, until next time...I love you Grandma and thank you for everything.

Talk to you soon.

Ann Marie Wooten 10.24.40 - 8.3.10

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