The way it goes is so normal for all of us that it's a hard cycle to break away from. We think I really should give him a call or I'll write her a long letter -- she'll enjoy that or Next time I order pictures, I'll send some to them specifically.
And then, it also goes this way: you can't do any of those things when time runs out.
So it was this week for me -- time ran out. With my Step-Grandma.
It's true -- I didn't know her very well and I can't say that we had a particularly close relationship. But my memories of her always include feeling well-loved and being smiled-upon. Whatever family tension there may have been (as I'm sure there was) wasn't on my childhood radar, and I only knew that she was gentle and present.
She was good at sending birthday cards with a sweet note inside -- perhaps a picture of my grandpa and 5-year-old me smiling together. Last time she sent a note, I made a resolution: I'll send new pictures of the girls (she's never met Lauren, has she?) and write a long, pen-pal type letter. She'll enjoy that, I think.
But I got busy. Life-busy. Keeping up with kids busy and resting quietly in the downtime busy. I won't say there weren't moments that I couldn't have sat down and penned a few lines just to make her smile, because I did have time. The trouble was that I assumed the time wouldn't matter.
The trouble was, she'd been sick for awhile without making much of her symptoms. The trouble was, time flew away from us.
The trouble was, I never got around to making a point of connecting, and now I can't.
Like I said -- we weren't close, and I'm neither shattered with desolation at her passing nor wracked with guilt that I missed sending that letter. I'm actually glad for her sake that she can finally rest peacefully and without pain. But I will miss knowing that she's thinking of me on my birthday, and I will miss knowing that she could have been smiling at a silly letter from her step-granddaughter.
And in a selfish way, I feel grateful to her for reminding me (because I forget so quickly): we don't have endless time in which to show our love. It's now or never.
Do me a favor? That person you've been meaning to connect with -- do it today. It'll be worth it.