My grandma passed away in August 2003 after a short battle with cancer. She was 69.
I was 20. The week leading up to her death changed me forever. If you've ever lost someone close to you to cancer, then you know what I mean. It's devastating.
For the past seven years, I've felt myself becoming more and more like her. I've picked up more of her mannerisms. I enjoy things she enjoyed. We've even adopted a black lab who looks much like her beloved lab, Brandi. I find my greatest joy in the little things in life - good food, family, our pets and nature.
Even though I carry her with me every day, I still miss her like crazy. I wish I could hit the rewind button so I could see her, or even just talk to her on the phone or by email.
None of those things are possible, but my mother, sister and I still dream about the possibilities. I think that's all you have when you lose someone you love. You have your dreams and your memories.
It isn't every day that something magical happens that enables you to talk to the person you love so very, very much. That sort of thing is the stuff of fictional novels, right?
But something magical happened to us yesterday.
As crazy as it sounds, I will get to talk to my grandma next Friday.
It started last night when my cell phone rang. My mother had called me four times in a row. I thought something terrible had happened.
Instead, she told me a story. My dad's company is moving to 7 World Trade Center, and he's been cleaning out his office. Yesterday his secretary was helping him (he has A LOT of junk), and she found an unopened package. She held it up and asked what it was. He didn't recognize it, so he asked who it was from.
It was from my grandma.
At this point, I'm mildly surprised my dad didn't have a heart attack.
Instead he grabbed the package and read the date it was mailed. It was mailed on January 12, 1998. Three weeks before that date, my grandma had lost her second husband to cancer. It was probably a late Christmas present she had mailed. It had probably arrived while my dad was on a business trip, and it had been pushed aside and forgotten.
The question is, how does a package get lost in an office for 12 years? Since that package was mailed, I've gone through four years of high school, four years of college, started my first job, gotten married, started my second job, bought a house, etc, etc....
Twelve years is a long time to lose an unopened package.
My dad's birthday is next Friday. He's coming home for the first time since Christmas. He's bringing the package, unopened, for us to open as a family.
How does something like this happen?
Realistically, it doesn't.
But it's happening to us.
I'm so excited and grateful for little miracles.
We've had so many little miracles lately.