A decade. A lot can happen in 10 years. A 17 year old girl can finish school, start working, grow, dream, become someone people can rely on. All those frightening days of hospital stays and surgeries just a distant memory now. A 2 year old can go from being dependent on his parents and the people around him for everything into a nearly 12 year old boy who has his own opinions and ideas, loves sports, and craves adventure every day.
10 years ago, I was that 17 year old. Aaron (my MawMaw's youngest grandchild, my Godson) was a 2 year old enjoying his freedom of being able to walk and run on his own. Learning new words every day. Jessie (my cousin) and I were excitedly anticipating the new millennium. A big party, complete with a balloon drop filled with confetti, was planned. I felt like the future was just around the corner. The party went on just like we planned. It was the beginning of an exciting new year. Little did I know... 4 days later, one of those defining pieces of the puzzle would leave us heartbroken.
We all stood around my MawMaw's bed and held her hands, as we let her go. Never had I experienced something like that until then. We stood beside her as she was sick for years and we stood beside her that morning, as she made her way to heaven. The day of her funeral, as we were beginning to leave the graveyard.. I stood a bit off to the side on an incline and watched my family and close friends all start to slowly make their ways to their cars. For some reason, I thought (... and the thought is as vivid, now, 10 years later.. as it was then) of the future. 10 years from that day, to be exact. What would things be like? What would we be like? I can remember shuddering, not wanting to imagine 10 years without my MawMaw, being physically, in our lives. How would we go on happily?
Time continued to go on, as time does. We grew, we learned, we kept going. We've reached that 10 year mark. We're ok. I still miss her throughout the year, especially at this time. But, we're moving on. Today, I looked back at the puzzle that is the past 10 years. I saw joy, tears, hope.. all connected. And now, a new puzzle begins. I see this year as a milestone. Sure, I'll still miss her through the years. Some days will be harder than others. But, we've made it through the first decade. This year has so much in store. So many good things that are going to happen, so many good things that will happen that we don't know about yet.
Here's to a new puzzle... Below is one of those songs that struck me as words my MawMaw would say to me. It's a little reminder that she is, indeed, here and always will be. :)