I remember you


I remember you
In worn out blue jeans and your old t-shirts – the kind with the pocket on the chest – working away on your latest project.
I remember you
Telling jokes so simple and obvious that they would make me laugh, and then you’d laugh, and soon enough we’d be in our own little fit, with others around the table smiling and wondering why it was so funny just to us.
I remember you
Taking calls in the office – alternating between Pennsylvania Dutch and English, calling everyone “Boova!”
I remember you
With your country Western music in the old truck, your special chair you sat in in the living room.
I remember you
Building us a life-size teepee in the backyard, a place of our own at your house so we could play,
Using your excavator to pile up all the snow you could manage into a hill that we could sled down in the driveway.
I remember you
Driving the mower around the backyard, us kids with our bare feet hanging off the edge of the wagon attached in the back.
Cutting watermelon in the summertime out by the barn, with juice running down all of our faces.
I remember you as Santa Claus
and how I argued with the kids in school that Santa was real – because I had seen him in the flesh, sneaking into my house to drop off presents.
I remember you in ‘The Shop’
A place where cheese and pretzels and ring bologna and beers and laughs never ran out.
All of the parties, the cookouts, the yard sales, the family reunions. I was so young, but I remember. You star in the fondest memories of so many. Especially mine.

When we’re young, we never know we will live a day without our grandparents. When we’re older, we know better, but we fight the thought with all we have because we can’t imagine the emptiness without them.

I will remember you with that smile. You’d look at me and shake your head and smile like you just couldn’t believe your eyes. You always made me feel so special.

I will remember you always this way, my grandpa: with your unruly white hair and your bright eyes and your big smile and your hugs. I will remember you always by the way you’d make me belly laugh and how I always felt safe in your presence. I will remember you with your strength and your zest and your talents and your endearing Dutch accent. I will always remember you with so much love.

Christmas Eve, Eve 2016


I miscarried 3 months prior to writing this. I remember feeling like I should have been over it at this point, and failed to be honest with those around me about how much I was struggling.

The holidays have a way of making everything beautiful look even more beautiful, and everything tragic feel even more tragic.


My heart aches today. Not as much as yesterday, but a little more than the day before.

That’s the thing about grief, you never know where or when it will find you. Grief doesn’t mind if you have things to cross off your to do list, events to attend, or if you have to make good on promises to show up. It undoubtedly reappears from thin air, leaving your insides twisted and your eyes welling, when moments ago the world felt still.

It’s avoiding places with too much happiness because it’s draining to pretend.

It’s long quiet drives.

It’s waking up each day feeling that you’re forgetting to do something.

it’s sitting in your car in parking lots, alone in tears because you don’t want anyone to see you this way.

My heart aches today. I hope it will ache less tomorrow.