You held my hand and taught me to wait before crossing the street. Later you watched as I crossed the street all alone, only looking back for a moment before running off with my friends. Was it difficult to let me go?

When I was older, you taught me how to bake an apple pie; grow African violets and to eat ice cream for breakfast on special occasions (and “every day can be special, you added.”) You cheered me on; encouraged me to travel and taught me to be kind. You always laughed when you told me that “housework can wait! Go do something exciting.” When I was a tired, frustrated mom, you flew out for two weeks and potty trained Devin and Cody after I threatened to let them wear diapers till they were teens. You taught me by example to get back up whenever I got knocked down. You showed me that if I helped others, my own problems seemed so much smaller.

This week I held your hand and waited while you slept. Every day, I reminded you that you were a wonderful Mom and a one-of-a-kind Grandma. Did you hear me say how much I love you and that I was sure your brother John, my Grandma Mary and Aunt Catherine were all waiting for you in the angelic realm?

Nurse Kathryn said you might have begun “Your Journey.” I wondered if you were ready to cross over alone yet? I wondered if you would open your eyes and look back at me one more time as I did with you so long ago?

And then your eyes fluttered open. And you let me feed you a few bites of yogurt and you drank some juice. You fell back to sleep, not quite ready to cross quite yet, still wanting to hold my hand.