Missing love

Kaitlin Humphrey, Featured Columnist

     I stare out the window of the plane, wondering and asking God why. I look over to my dad, who sits quietly in his seat, just staring straight ahead. I wish I could say something to him, but I can’t; I’m too upset. I wipe another tear away from under my eye. I’m not upset because I lost someone I love, like my dad is. I’m upset that I missed out on that love.

     We had never been close, and we never would be. 800 miles used to separate us, but now a lifetime blocks us from each other. My family had tried to visit her more often but it was tough. Between boarding our dog, working, and school my parents found it difficult to load all of us up and make the road trip from Texas to Colorado. Excuses don’t matter though she is gone now and we will never have that special bond that other grandmas and their grandchildren have.

     What few memories I have of her flash through my mind. They leave me with bittersweet thoughts. I remember the last time I saw her – I had known then it would be the last. I remember standing outside of her room in the hospital, looking in as my dad said goodbye. She looked frail and worn-out. The cancer was getting the better of her and we all knew it.

     She was a fighter. I didn’t have to know her well to realize that. She had beat breast and skin cancer, but brain cancer was different. It struck her hard. I remember walking down the cold white hall of the hospital, crying to my mom that this was the last time I would see my grandma. My mom hushed me and said we would see her again. I accepted what my mom said, but deep down in my heart I knew that this was different, that this was the last time.

    I remember crying myself to sleep that night. I prayed to God that she would go to heaven when she died. I remember calming myself down by imagining her as an angel. In my imagination she wasn’t in pain, she was young and she looked healthy. There was a heavenly glow about her; she was an entirely  new person in appearance.        

     I knew the type of person my grandma was from stories my dad had told me about her. I knew she was an artist and a good one too. We had her paintings hanging sporadically around our house. One in particular stands out in my mind – a mountain scene, a place my dad had told me she had loved dearly. It was beautifully painted, with extreme attention to detail, and when I looked at it I felt like I was in the mountains alongside my grandma.

     I regret not knowing her well. It’s not something I can change, though. It’s something I have to live with. She was a strong woman, a woman that I’m proud to call my grandma. We are separated now by more than miles. We are separated by a lifetime.