You would've been 91 today. Or, 39 for the 52nd time if we let you tell it. Most of the fam would say that you've been gone for almost a year now, but I know you never left.
You're definitely not where you used to be, tho... I can't call you, even though I've started to a few times. I can't fly to STL to spend our summers brunching, casino boating and ish talking. And when I think about those things, the things that we can't do anymore, it feels terrible. It feels like I've lost you. Like you're really gone. But those bad feels act like a beacon-- a beacon to remind me to look for you where you are, NOW (not where you aren't). When I close my eyes, even through these tears, I feel you. You're here. And in my dreams, we talk and laugh. And Boogie. Your mini squad. She still snuggles with that blanket you crocheted her, every night. She talks about you all the time and got teary eyed last night when I reminded her about your birthday. You are such a huge part of our lives. We love telling Gma stories. And with the current circumstances, this particular one has been coming up a lot--
A few weeks before you transitioned, you'd get a bit confused (or so we thought) and ask how my son was doing. I'd remind you that I only had the one child, a daughter, Gia. And everytime you'd roll your eyes and say, "I know about Boogie, but how's your son doing?! Where is he?!" You were so sincere and persistent in your inquiry, but I didn't think much of it until months later when we found out that we were pregnant. I couldn't do anything but smile and think of you and I immediately knew it was a boy-- the son you had asked about.
Thank you for sending us an angel. I promise to tell him all about his Great Grandma Maxine... but I'm sure he already knows you well.