Airing Out Some Guilt, and some Gratefulness

Confession is supposedly good for the soul. Mine’s always been just fine with forgetfulness, but since it’s at the front of my mind today…

I’m sorry I forgot your birthday.
I’m sorry I was too selfish with my time to let you spend any with your great grandson, or more with your great granddaughter. It wasn’t thought of as a decision not to let you have that time. Just a decision to do other things. Same result.
I’m sorry I didn’t come to see you since Grandpa died. I’m sorry I didn’t go see him while he was sick, either – even though at the time I was convinced I’d rather not see him or you in that condition. I wish I could change that decision.
I’m sorry my opinion of you lately was “cranky” more than “lonely”. And that I thought you needed to be alone, more than to have company.
I’m sorry that I let other people form that opinion for me.
I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of you and I. Or Grandpa and I.
I’m sorry my children won’t have pictures of themselves with you or Grandpa.
I accept responsibility for these things.

I still remember how your cheek felt against mine. How the water at your house tasted. Going to visit you while you were camping, and the tuna sandwich you made me on pumpernickel bread. How much you always knew about what everyone else was up to. How you had so many photos and stories of so many of my relatives. How I never heard you speak a cross word to me.

I will also never forget porcelain dolls I was not allowed to touch, pet birds I was not allowed to touch, statues of dachshunds, Christmas villages, your cuckoo clock, your doilies, or the Cambridge diet.

I’m grateful I knew you.
I’m grateful you knew Jesus.
I’m grateful for the birthday and Christmas cards.
I’m grateful for the dollars per birthday and time together and doughy-cheeked hugs and kisses.
I’m grateful for the last conversation you, Grandpa and I had – when I learned about the day you got married so young, and how you moved south when you were little.

I regret that all the memories of you that I can summon take so short a space to write down. I hope I’ll remember more than this, for the rest of my life.

I love you, and I’ll miss you.

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