Dear Sophie -
We're getting ready to leave on vacation in a few days, and I have so much to do. Between working and packing and trying to get all of the details taken care of before we go away, it hasn't left much time to sit and think about the trips we're going on in soon. But now, as I sit in the quiet of my office, I am quite nostalgic, thinking of what the next few days hold.
We're going to Ohio next week. Just for two days - it's a side-trip of our vacation. But it's those two days that have me both overjoyed and overwhelmed. We're going to your great grandaddy and great grandma's house, to pack it up and get it ready to sell. It breaks my heart that you didn't really get to know them. I think you kind of remember grandaddy, although I'm sure you'll lose those memories, the older you get. It's so strange to me when I think that of the whole life you've lived already in just under 3 years, and yet, you probably will remember none of it when you're older. I hope your memories of grandaddy are always there. But your great grandma - who we called Mamma - she died several years before you were born. When I let myself think about the missed opportunity for her to know you, it makes me so sad. I'm jealous that your cousins had an opportunity to grow up knowing her. Oh Sophia - she would have loved you. You remind me so much of her - you're sassy, just like she was. You're so wise, just like she was. And, you're hilarious - just like she was. You'll never know all of this on your own, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I used to make her tell me all about Grandma Apple - her mother - because I longed to know my great-grandmother. I can't wait to tell you about yours.
So now, we're going back to the home that she and grandaddy lived in for so many years. I think about walking into that home - so full of love, so full of my grandparents spirit - and having you there. I want you to run in the yard, and walk down their street. I can already see you, tearing through the house, squealing with delight. But the part that catches in my throat is something that will be unnoticeable to you. You'll have no idea that two people are missing from the house. Two loving grandparents, who should be sitting in the rocking chairs, watching their great granddaughter laugh and play, clapping their hands and laughing along. I miss them. I miss them so much. I long for them to know you and you to know them.
So this week will be hard on me. And you'll have no idea. But someday, when you look at pictures of yourself standing in front of a strange house that you don't recognize, I want you to have more than just a date on the back of the picture. I want you to know how important it was for me to have you stand where they stood. So important, that I'm about to get on 6 planes over the next 8 days to make that happen. And if you know anything about your mama, I'm sure you know how much I hate to fly. But I would have hated even more for you to miss this opportunity. I can't wait for you to breathe in the air - the smells, the spirit, the memories - of your great grandparents' house.
And I can't wait for the day when you really will have a chance to know them. Come Lord Jesus!!
You have no shortage of amazing family who love and adore you, and you'll be inundated with them over the next week. But I thought you should know about two people who are watching over you from heaven. Especially as we tie up the last physical, worldly reminder of the live they lived, and lived well.
I love you my precious girlie-
love, your mama