Posted by: angelnorman | July 22, 2008

I think of you when I see a sunflower.

I thought about you today. And on Monday. Um, and yesterday. I mean, what else is new… right? 🙂 Just the other day I saw that church van from Indian Creek Baptist of Smithville, TN and I thought of you, and the stories you told me of your baptism, your faith, the revivals you attended, etc. I thought about you when I saw Vince Gill in that commercial and how I made you listen to “Go Rest High on that Mountain” that time because it reminded me of Granddaddy, and how it made you cry. I quickly apologized but instead of asking me to stop, you asked to hear it again and we cried the afternoon away together about the loves we’ve lost. I think about you pretty much everyday, actually, though I’m sure it’s no surprise to you.

Four years has passed and still I miss you like it was only last year. I was beginning to think that people who say, “Time will ease the pain” are a bunch of crazies, because honestly I still feel so much pain and four years is a really long time to still feel raw and to still ache for that loss. But I guess feeling like it was last year is better than feeling as if it were only yesterday when I received the call that you had passed away. I guess that shows improvement in my grief, if that’s even possible. I don’t know.

The thing is though that you weren’t just a grandmother, man. You were my friend. You were my confidante. For so long, few things happened in my life that you didn’t know about, that I didn’t share with you. And if there was anything at all that I didn’t share with you, I’m sure it was only because it slippped my mind. You knew it all about me– the good and the bad. You knew that I smoked long before anyone else did. You certainly didn’t condone it, but you didn’t judge me either. You only urged me to be healthy because remember Granddaddy and his emphesyma? Remember how he suffered to just catch his breath? But you never ever judged me, only to tell me to brush my hair because it looked stringy or to tuck my shirt in. Okay, and you did really hate it when I would refuse to use a fork or spoon and instead eat with my fingers.

I still do that. Sorry. But hey, I gave up the cigarettes. That says something, right? 🙂

I just wish I could share things with you still. I don’t really have anyone to just listen to me and be sort of unbiased. Sometimes I just long to hear you say to me that I’m going to be okay. You used to tell me that “As long as I have a breath in me, you will be just fine.” Now that your breath is gone, I feel so far from “just fine”.  Funny how that works.

I just really miss you.

And do you know that when my belly hurts, I make Mike rub it softly and tell me to “lay real still”, exactly like you would have? Isn’t it funny that I’m pushing thirty and yet I still need that sort of comfort from someone? I’m sure that if you could read this, that would make you laugh. Maybe even cry. I’d like to think that where you are, you could miss me back. I know that’s not possible though, not if there’s a heaven and not if that’s where you are. There’s no tears in heaven, after all.

I miss your stories too. I wish I would have taken more time to actually listen to more of them. The older I get, the more I want to put them into some sort of family history book, because you know, we’ve been through some stuff in this family, and you especially. I just feel like the world needs to know about how you lived, how you were forced to drop out of school in 6th grade to work on your family’s farm and shuck corn (I mean, c’mon, I don’t even know what it means to shuck corn!) or how you received the letter from your dead brother a month after he passed away and how your knees buckled as you read it in your driveway, or how you stayed with your mother until she took her very last breath. How you stayed with YOUR HUSBAND until he took his very last breath. You are just so admirable, to me anyways, and it’s such a pity that I don’t have you here anymore to introduce to all my friends so that they can know what I mean when I say “I still cry for her! I still can’t get over this”. I’m positive they would love you, too, and would never doubt my grief. They would get it.

You were more than a grandmother. You were my hero.

And though sometimes I struggle to remember the sound of your voice, there are times too when I will catch a glimpse of you in someone else, or I’ll hear your laugh, or I’ll hear your favorite hymnal. And it makes me remember you, and how although you were already 84, I think you were taken from me too soon. It’s not fair that I got less time with you than your other grandkids… well, except for Courtney. We loved you the best, and I know you knew that. We both still miss you dearly.

I’m pretty sure we will forever.

It must be great to know that you touched lives like you did.

I will bring you some flowers soon, Granny. I haven’t been to your grave in ages, but I promise you I will very soon. Sunflowers! Your favorite. I love you always.

My gran.

Irene Taylor Malone
Sept. 27, 1919- July 21, 2004



  1. that was so sweet and so sad. you made me cry! I’m so sorry for your loss, it does get better with time,but I don’t think it ever truly goes away! I know she would be so proud of you, Courney & Nick! She’s probably missing you back and smiling down on you every day!

    Take care!

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