Although I will never hold Cheryl in my arms again, I will always hold her in my heart. I last saw her three years ago but we talked often on the phone. This last year I sent her flowers a couple of times, a digital photo frame filled with family pictures, bread for Christmas, and the last thing I sent was a moving plan, with a schedule of the adventure she was soon to depart on with Bill. But that arrived one day too late.
My grandmother told me something this week. She said that as people get older, they need to be wanted and needed. I had wanted Cheryl to move to Alaska with us when we first moved in 2003. After all this time, I was so excited that she was finally coming. I always enjoyed every moment I spent with her and I was looking forward to spending time with her every day. I knew we would get along well and she would cherish every minute she would spend with Aerin, Ethan and the new baby.
I loved her. From the moment I first met her, I thought she was wonderful. She welcomed me into her life and treated me as her own daughter. She introduced me to pancakes the size of plates, rummaging on Saturdays, bacon forks, mid-western phrases, and the awesomeness of hairspray. When she took me under her wing, I became part of her family. Family was everything to her. She always told me she loved me, sent me little things she thought I would like, and told me how proud she was of my family. She loved Aerin and Ethan from the first second she knew they were coming and she was so excited that we are having another baby.
I will miss her every day. I will miss living with her. I will miss introducing her around Nenana. I will miss her when I hold my new baby. I will miss seeing her hug Aerin and Ethan. I will miss our phone calls and her voice on the answering machine. I will miss sending her cards and flowers. I will miss the things she will never send me.
I am sure she is in heaven with her glue gun, finding places that need more diamonds and rubies.