Dear Grandma (Yates),
When I saw you last, just a few hours before you died, I thanked you for that day you stood up for me to my father. You really can’t know just how deeply I appreciated that. I feel immensely guilty for the months I did not visit you after you were relocated into the assisted living home. I think that I rationalized that it was too far away and with your dementia that somehow you wouldn’t need me there. I know that thinking was flawed. I am eternally grateful that in the last year of your life, I was able to be a part of it again. You have taught me that what you needed and what many people need is just a hand to hold, a pat on the back or even a hug–really, just human contact and love.
I had so much fun playing games with you, the food games to get you to eat, the talks, game shows and stories while you were in the rehabilitation center. And before that, visiting Sundays at your assisted living home and stealing your Mentos, looking at your crafts and pictures, listening to your stories and the walks around the place for exercise. I appreciate your strong, German stubbornness and can see it in myself sometimes (although I fail to pull it off like you did). I will never forget your instant coffee, hairnet, cane, glasses or the cross you wore around your neck. I have it now along with your fancy purse. Very soon I will have your wardrobe chest, too. I will take care of those things for you because I know they were important to you.
Please know beyond anything else that I love you and miss you. I trust you are watching over Gale Ann, Grandpa, Christopher, Carl and hopefully Mekia, too. There is no one better for that job than you.
You will be forever in my thoughts.