Real Stories

Heaven Gained A New Angel

She passed away on a summer Sunday afternoon.

Shades drawn and family near.

She waited with each shallow breath to say goodbye.

Goodbye to all nine of her now grown children.

Goodbye to all 29 of now grown grandchildren.

She waited for the “I love you’s”

and the “We’re going to be okay’s”

She waited,

and waited,

as they drove and flew from miles and miles away.

Because that was her…

Even in her final act..

She wanted us all to be together.

She always wanted us all together.

Together and well fed.

I wish I would have said more,

but I don’t think you ever know how to really say goodbye.

So I hope someone whispered in her ear that her homemade frosting will never be forgotten.

That Christmas Eve was nothing short of magical, with tinsel decorated trees and Santa handing out presents.

That pumpkin carving parties always made me feel like part of the best family.

I hope she was forgiven for the things she may not have done perfectly.

For the mistakes that may have happened while she was busy being human.

I hope she realized with each goodbye, that she left a lasting impression on three generations of us.

I should have savored those moments while I was in them.

The smell of food always cooking in the kitchen.

The perfect ratio of salt and pepper in mashed potatoes.

A never ending surplus of Oreo cookies in the kitchen cabinet.

Feeling like it was always safe at grandmas.

Gossip on a Sunday afternoon over donuts and coffee.

Christmas sweaters.

Most of all I should have savored her quick wit.

Her strength to be unapologetically herself.

She was nothing short of authentic.

And she always kept me laughing.

She kept all of us laughing.

August 19th left a hole in our hearts,

But heaven gained a new angel.

I hope you can handle her up there.



Author: Ashley Rector, Founder of Harness magazine.

xx I love and miss you grandma. 


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