Monday, April 4, 2016

some sunny day

We're hoping you'll forgive us for the complete silence on the blog front last week. WeThree traveled to Massachusetts for a few days to attend our beautiful grandmother's funeral. She passed away on March 21st after a few tough weeks of ups and downs. And although we are sad and miss her every day, we are also incredibly grateful for the gift that she was to us for her 91 years on this earth. Always a busy bee, we remember her scurrying around her kitchen in the morning, mixing up her famous 1/2 orange, 1/2 cranberry juice, curlers dangling in her hair just at the base of her neck. She played school and dress-ups with us, took us to the Little Peach for gum and candy bars, pushed us on the swings at the playground. When we walked into her house through the always-unlocked back door, through the tiny laundry room and into the kitchen, always late late in the middle of the night after driving after school from Pennsylvania, she would greet us with warm hugs, hot tubettini soup, and cold spaghetti. Her house always had the same wonderful and familiar smell and although I can't name the scent, over the years it came to mean warmth and joy, love and family, safety and comfort. 

I wrote quite a few letters to Nan through the years. Sometimes every week, sometimes every other week, or sometimes it became once a month or once every three months or  only once in six months. But I tried to write often and would include the everyday details of our lives: what the kids were up to, how Will's job was going, sports/ballet activities, what I was knitting at the moment. I sometimes included stories about trips we had taken or hikes Will and I went on. I remember one letter where I told her everything we would do if we were together. With us setting up our home in Virginia and her living 83 of her 91 years in the same small town in Massachusetts, we didn't get to see each other very often once I went to college sixteen years ago. In fact, when she passed away, it had been a year and a half since our last visit. After our family vacation to Maine, we stopped on our way home to help her celebrate her 90th birthday in August of 2014. 

Although we didn't see much of each other, I feel like we kept in touch over the days and months and years through the letters. She didn't write back and I didn't need or expect her to. And now, of course, there are no more letters to write. But still I have found myself, almost every day, thinking that I need to get out my notecards and send her a letter. Years ago I started picking up notecards at Target or on Etsy based on what I thought she might like. Now I have a stack of notecards, bought with her in mind, and I need to write them. They're practically calling my name from their shelf in the playroom where I've put them up high enough to keep them out of reach of little hands that like to scribble "words" on them and then lick all the envelopes. Nanny notecards have always been off-limits to my children unless I specifically gave them one and asked them to write a letter to her. Nobody else. 

And so now. Now I need to find someone else to write to. It's funny how a thing you think you are doing mostly for someone else's benefit can turn into something that means a whole lot to you, too. I have so much to be thankful for when it comes to her. Reading and loving my letters is high on the list. 

When we were with our family at the wake on Tuesday night, Carrie picked up a tattered pile of papers that turned out to be her high school year book. In it, it listed my grandmother's favorite song that year: Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again." As we listened to the song in the car on the way to the funeral on Wednesday I thought to myself, "You've got to be kidding me." It was like she was reaching down from heaven to give us one last hug as Vera serenaded us with these words: "We'll meet again. Don't know how, don't know when. But I know we'll meet again some sunny day." The perfect words to not say goodbye, but just farewell. For I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.



  1. Such beautiful words. I knew your Grandmother for many years, though this is the first I'm learning of her passing. So sorry for your loss. She was a lovely woman. I grew up in Millis but haven' lived there for years. I too, lost my Mom, not too long ago. She and your Nana were friends as your Aunt Gayle and I are friends. Millis was such a small, but great town to grow up in. I'll look forward to read more of your blogs. Thanks.

  2. Beautifully written, Chels.