That's Mac up there.
I did not take this photo, and suspect a certain Half Kid did. In addition to being my Half Kid, he is also her Instagram Husband. It's a thing.
Surely Jack needs some support from the Instagram Husband community, but until he gets it I have the joy of following Mac and Jack (and their cats Miss Ali and Hippo (and Gabe when he is staying with them (again)) on Instagram.
Usually - as is the norm for so many posts on social media - her pics and words are fun, quippy, and/or silly.
But when I checked Instagram last night, the photo above showed up from Mac's feed.
And a message not fun... nor quippy... nor silly.
Today was a tough day... I miss my Granny every day, but gosh today I missed her something awful. So I threw on her shirt, climbed into her car, rolled the top down and blasted the Elvis channel for miles. Granny, I know you don't have Instagram, but just letting you know I felt you there with me on our Coopah ride.
Reminded myself to breathe.
Mac, Sam, and Gabe did not know a childhood - nor early adulthood - without Granny and Grampa.
We moved into our first home together in August of 1993. That would have made Mac less than eleven months old. Sam showed up about eleven months after that, and then Gabe about four years later.
Granny has been gone for a little over six months.
We are all still getting used to our new worlds, the way humans do when someone who was once a part of our everydays is no longer.
I was thinking about Mac this morning... thinking that I'd call or message her a bit later, considering the time difference between this island in Maine and Seattle.
I was thought about her...
About her missing Granny...
About missing Granny...
And my eyes began to sting.
Then something... or someone... or someones... happened.
I was attempting to put my camera away, but could barely squish the bag into its cabinet. This had been the case for weeks.
There was no better time, the voices in my head told me, than thisvery moment.
So I plopped my arse down on the floor, swung the door wide, and began to pull things out.
Papers... old magazines... notebooks... more papers...
And then, Granny's purse.
I'd cleaned it out months ago, when it was time to offer special things to her special people, but I had to look inside. It was still empty.
Eventually, all the big things were taken out of the cabinet, and sorted into 'Toss It' and 'Keep It' piles.
My mind was still on Mac, and her Instagram post, when I reached way into the bottom of the cabinet, pulling out a lone envelope. I recognized it.
It was a response card for Mac's and Jack's wedding.
I'd put the pile of them in a drawer upstairs a while ago, just in case she wanted to keep them.
How'd I miss this one?
I took out the card.
It was Granny's response. I felt the smile.
Of course it was.
Her name, in her own hand, along with a check mark right next to 'JOYFULLY ACCEPTS!'
I made a mental note to text Mac a photo of it. A cool sign for sure.
I sat with the knowledge that special relationships between grandparents and grandchildren are not guaranteed, but are true blessings.
I'd had that. I'd been one of the lucky ones.
And then... and I'm not making this up... this happened:
I leaned down again, just to make sure the shelves were empty before wiping them down.
There was anotherenvelope, way in back, stuck behind the shelf that bisects the cabinet into 'top' and 'bottom'.
Another invitation response? I really thought I got them all...
I pulled the envelope out.
The handwriting blew me back nearly twenty-eight years, to October 1990.
How it was there, I have no idea.
The Inn... The Disposable Shack... The Big Brown House on the Top of the Hill... The Australia House...
I had to count back through four former homes to get to the address on the front of the envelope I was holding in my hand.
I reached inside.
It was a letter from Nan, who was not able to attend our wedding, thanking JoHn and I for bringing the wedding to her... which we'd done, nearly three decades ago.
I read it through a mixture of smiles and tears.
How am I holding this now?
How did it get here... to this house... into this cabinet? By all logic, if I had kept it, it would be in one of a dozen moving boxes, tucked into the top of the Old Barn.
How was Granny's response to Mac's and Jack's wedding invitation the only one left behind in this cabinet? What are the chances?
And then this letter from Nan... What the...?
I triple checked. No other envelopes in the cabinet.
Not a one.
I laid both items out... knowing Mac would never believe me.
I barely believed me!
And, at that moment, I joined my daughter in the missing of our grandmothers.
How special to have loved these ladies so much, that we miss them this much.
We are, my daughter and I, lucky women.
And, if Nan had given me a shirt and a Mini Coopah? Well, I am telling you...
I'd have put the shirt on, rolled the top down and blasted music for miles too, just like Mac did.
One change though. I'd have been belting out Don Ho.
Tiny Bubbles, dontcha know.
Great job today, Granny.
Way to go, Nan.
Oh, and Mac?
I love you.
Thanks for readin'.
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