As I sit here, thinking about my grandmother with a million stories to share, and infinite things to tell you about her, I am nearly speechless. Overwhelmed.
I miss you every day. I think of you all the time.
I want to go back to being kids again, with you and popop playing with us like you did. Dancing around the piano while you played your magical songs. Sitting in your lap while you told us stories and read to us. Pretending to care about football so we could watch TV with popop. I want to take all of your vitamins and sort them like I used to, making morning breakfasts a game.
I want to go back to being 13, starting to care about everything in your past. Your upbringing, your social and political achievements. I want to hear more stories about the unions, the wars, the presidents, the civil rights movement. I want to hear about your stories traveling to China, to Russia, all over.
I want you to teach me how to make kugel again. I want to stand in the kitchen with you and chop onions.
I want to go to Rehoboth as a family and sit on the beach, play in the waves. Sit with you and popop and all of the cousins on the porch. Watch you and popop (and mom, Briane, and Tom) dance around the living room.
I want to graduate high school again and share your excitement as I go off to college. Despite my faults, you were nothing but proud of me. Of all of us granddaughters. I want to call you from school, tell you about my grades, my work, my day.
I want to go back to being 23, having you live nearby. Coming to sit with you in your new "apartment" and just talking. Reading the paper together. Listening to your stories about how romantic popop was. Sing union songs, because even after all those years, they were still fresh in your mind.
I want to go back to last summer. When I would come visit you every afternoon before dinner, you would tell me you were tired, ready to go, but you would smile and exclaim "Shauni! How close is the wedding now?" Even when you fell sick and were in a coma-like state, whenever someone would come kiss you those last few days, you would open your eyes, smile, and say "hi!" before drifting off again. And you would smile the most wonderful crooked smile that even the toughest man would see it and melt.
Your last words to me, during a moment of lucidity 5 days before you left us, were "Call me when you get to the campsite, I want to make sure you got there ok." I laughed and smiled and said, "See you on Sunday."
In a year so much has happened. I married the man of my dreams, one month to the day after you passed. I felt you there, along with popop and the Burke grandparents. But I wish you were there, dressed to the nines, smiling, hugging and kissing.
I have a great job and I travel all over. I know you would be telling me stories of your adventures when you were traveling the globe.
I'm running a half marathon. I can literally hear your words: "13 miles??!?!?!? Honey, that's crazy!" But nobody would be more proud of me than you.
I miss you. I want to snuggle in to your soft lap. I want to sing with you. Kiss you and hold your cold, veiny hands. Smell you (Elizabeth Taylor's "White Diamond" perfume mixed with old lady and sweaters). Nap next to you. Laugh with you. Just be with you.
I have too much else to say, but mostly, I miss you. I love you. Every day.