Yesterday wasn’t just Valentine’s Day.


It marked one year since I had seen my grandma (my paternal grandmother, not Mother Lovett) for the last time. I’ve mentioned it before, but I am just so, so grateful that Mr. How Sweet and I spent last Valentine’s day with my parents and grandparents. Having no idea that in less than 48 hours she would be taken from us so suddenly (a mere 8 months since Mother Lovett’s death), the last day we spent together could not have been better. It was simple, beginning with lunch, moving on to shopping, and ending with eating truffles from Godiva – something we had done many times before. But as I get older, it is evident that easy, simple moments are the ones that I remember the most and mean everything to me.

I didn’t realize it before, but I find it ironic that we spent what is supposed to be the “most romantic day of they year” with the two couples I admired most in the world. Ah… life lessons! You may remember the wise words my grandma mentioned to Mr. How Sweet and me last Christmas – words that carry so much meaning, words that I believe have single-handedly helped our marriage grow, saved our marriage, and given us faith for the future.


Tomorrow marks one year since she passed. Some times it feels like it has been years, other times it feels like it has been minutes. And since most of you have experienced death, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about.

You may remember that on the day she died, I brought home with me the scarf that she had worn on Valentine’s Day and actually slept with it for awhile since it smelled like her. It has been in our bedroom for an entire year, moving from my pillow to the nightstand to the floor (I certainly did not inherit her cleanliness) to my closet, but it has always been in view when I’m in the room. At first I used to pick it up and inhale her scent every morning before work, the minute I got home, and before I went to bed. As expected, that ritual dwindled as time and life passed, lessening to once a day, or every few days, or even once a week.

Strangely enough, I picked it up yesterday and could no longer smell her scent. It’s almost as if it disappeared overnight.


There have been 3 moments in the last year when I actually felt her presence, times where I feel that she was with me – the last even hearing her call my name. I’ve started to write about it before but it freaks me out so much that I can never continue. I can clearly remember in religion class during elementary school one of my teachers saying that “spirits only visit you if you welcome them.” I definitely thought that was a load of baloney. I was never inviting any spirit to visit me! I certainly don’t want anyone or anything visiting me, unless it is in the flesh. Heck, I don’t even really want anyone in the flesh visiting me unless I know them or their name is George Clooney. I’m a full fledged scaredy cat.


I was so scared this time last year when the thought of forgetting certain things about her loomed. Right before the casket closed, my dad said, “she will live on in you.” That has been what I’m working towards since I last saw her. I have a long ways to go, but I want to be exactly like the wonderful lady she was. But I never want anyone to call me a lady, because then I’ll feel old. And to begin becoming a lady, I should probably stop wearing sweat pants everyday.

As sad as we all are that she is gone, none of us can really be angry when she lived a long, active, healthy life and was taken as peacefully as possible. That’s what we are going to celebrate tomorrow – her life.


In short – go hug your grandma if she’s still kickin’!

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70 Responses to “Yesterday and Tomorrow.”

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    Alyssa @ Life of bLyss — February 15, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

    I completely feel ya on this one, Jessica. My Mamoe died last December, and I miss her every day. It IS so important to celebrate her life and the wonderful times we had with our grandmothers, and I love this post. :)

    I bet Mother Lovett and Mamoe are up there laughing together and eatin’ up a storm!

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    Bethany @Bridezilla Bakes — February 15, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    What a wise, wonderful lady. I hope you get good chances to celebrate and remember her this week!

    And, I love Mother Lovett’s little white head in the corner of that picture :)

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    • Jessica — February 15th, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

      Hahah I was wondering if anyone would notice her. ;)

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    Chrissy — February 15, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

    My grandma’s the best. She’s 85 years old, sharp as a tack, says anything she damn well pleases, and is a die-hard Steelers fan. Penn State fan too… she has a crush on Joe Paterno. She’s a hoot and a half. I’m so grateful I still have her. Hope she sticks around for a long time!!!

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    Amy — February 15, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

    I read every post… but never comment… bad me….

    I lost my granny, who was also my best friend, last March. I have a white cardigan sweater that was her’s that I love to wrap up in.

    Her birthday was about 1.5 weeks ago. I went to Dairy Queen and had a hot fudge sundae and a cheeseburger just for her… they were her 2 favorite things in the world. =)

    *hugs*

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 15th, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting Amy! I think you did her proud with that celebration. ;)

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    Heather — February 15, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

    Beautiful post, Jessica!! I did the same thing when my Mom passed away except it was a sweatshirt & in time I eventually washed it but only when the smells faded.

    I truly believe that our loved ones DO indeed visit us when we are willing to accept that visit because it’s not for the faint of heart. My brother died when we were very young (I was only 10) & he used to visit in my dreams. It was exciting though sometimes I’d wake a bit out of sorts. Those stopped when my Mom died in 2006 & I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it until they ended.

    Now, I realize a lot of this may sound crazy or hokey to some but it’s real & when you are open, it happens.

    God bless you in these days where you remember your grandparents. Most of mine are still around & I can’t wait to hug their necks!!

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    • Jessica — February 15th, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

      I don’t think it sounds crazy at all. Thanks Heather!

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    Kristy @ Sweet Treats and More — February 15, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    Such a sweet post. Brought tears to my eyes. My grandma is in the hospital now and I just keep thinking, please don’t let this be it…I need one more moment with her. One like you had with your grandmother. Thanks for sharing:)

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    Holly — February 15, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    BEAUTIFUL post Jess! I love her scarf- it is so very pretty & dainty!
    I hope that you still have the most amazing memories of your grandmother.
    My Mom’s mom is not doing too well- she has Altizmer’s (however you spell it) really bad..and it just keeps getting worse :(
    But I will have to send her a card or something to make her smile :)

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    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean — February 15, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

    i’ll be thinking about you tomorrow. i think you’re doing an amazing thing by honoring your grandma in your every day life. i know she’s with you and is proud of the woman you are :)

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    Briana — February 15, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

    I have been reading your blog for over a year now, began a few weeks before your sweet Mother Lovett passed away. What a special relationship you both had, and it makes my heart melt to read how much you loved and cherished her. I firmly believe your father was right, she will and does live on through you! I can only imagine how proud Mother Lovett is of you! Keep your chin up and continue to celebrate her life through your cooking and memories!

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    Alecia — February 15, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    Such a heartfelt post. I was missing my grandmother over the holidays. Not so much the big day, but the days leading up to Christmas and Thanksgiving. Those days, we would spend together, baking or cleaning for the big family celebration. I learned so much in those days together and my heart breaks everytime I realize I won’t hear her voice again.

    Your tribute is sweet and a perfect honor to her.

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    Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl — February 15, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    These types of “anniversaries” are always so hard, but I love that they allow me the time to think back and reflect on all of the fun memories I have of my grandparents. I hope that one day I will be wise enough to pass along meaningful words to my children and my children’s children :)

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    • Jessica — February 15th, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

      Me too! I can’t ever imagine being “wise.” Hahah!

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    angien24 — February 15, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

    What a beautiful post. It always brings a tear to my eye when you talk of your love for your Grandmother. You have such precious memories of her and I love her advice for you and Mr. How Sweet. I take that advice to heart myself, even after nearly 19 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart. Enjoy your day tomorrow remembering your Grandmother’s wonderful life. I know it will be bittersweet, but I hope for more sweet with all of your lovely memories of her.
    Angie

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    Caitlin — February 15, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

    I remember this time like it wasn’t so long ago, either. This is a beautiful post and as someone who misses her gramma as much as you miss yours, it was a pleasure to read. I give the same advice. She is definitely living on in you, so proud of you and I am too!

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    Leah @ Why Deprive? — February 15, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    This was such a beautiful post.

    We lost my Grandpa on New Years Day back in ’05. Its still hard to believe he’s gone, but every now and then I can still hear his voice. I can hear him laughing, and I hope that never goes away. He was such an amazing man, and although I miss him, I feel so lucky to have known him, and have the opportunity to learn from him.

    I think its really nice that you kept her scarf. Its the little things that hold the most memories.

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    MelissaNibbles — February 15, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

    This was such a lovely post Jess. I’m sorry for your loss. You’re an amazing woman and wonderful friend. I know she’s very proud of you.

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    Alaina - The Jogging Concierge — February 15, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

    What a sweet tribute to your grandma. :-)

    I lost my (maternal) grandmama almost 6 years ago and I miss her still. My (paternal) grandfather passed away last September so I spent Valentine’s day with my Grammy. My husband was away too so it was nice to spend the afternoon with her.

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    Meg — February 15, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    My grandpa just passed away Christmas Day 2010. Having been an artist, and having his paintings all over the house, a day never goes by that I don’t think about him. Your post made me hopeful that a year from now I’ll still be looking at those paintings remembering him instead of them just ending up in the background. Thank you.

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    carolinebee — February 15, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

    Aw Jessica..this is so special and I can relate to your feelings SO, so much. My dad passed away when i was 16 and it is still so painful, but i have the most amazing memories to cherish of him. My nonny lives in CA and that is the ONE thing i hate about living in Boston, i call her all the time and I seriously go out to lunch with her first thing when i get home!!! HUGSsss to you lady :)

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    Mama Pea — February 15, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandma six years ago and it still hurts every day. I’ve felt her with me too, like you, but I’m more than happy to welcome her in any way I can.

    God bless you, Jess. :)

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    Amanda — February 15, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    I am crying! I lost my grandmother when I was young and I miss her everyday. My other grandma is still around and this makes me want to hug her asap. Thanks for sharing. You write so beautifully, Jessica!

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    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — February 15, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

    Such a sweet tribute to your grandmother. My grandmother (Gramma Peggy) passed nearly 3 years ago and I feel very fortunate that I was able to say goodbye. Her heart failed slowly over a several year period and it was excruciating to watch her slip away, though I was glad to have more time with her. It was almost surreal the conversations we would have about death, she was so brave. She wasn’t afraid to leave us and that gives me comfort to this day. Still, it was so hard to say goodbye that last time, knowing for sure that it was the last. Sometimes I’ll catch myself thinking about her and, in that moment, she feels so real that I almost forget she’s gone.

    Ok, I’ve gotta stop or I’m going to lose it.

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    Rach — February 15, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

    This brings back a lot of memories of when I lost my grandmother. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful relationship with her and that you got to spend some wonderful time with her just before she was gone. This was such a sweet look at your love for your grandmother. Thanks for sharing.

    Also, in case you don’t hear this often enough (but I mean, really, who can hear it too often?): You truly are beautiful. The snapshot from your wedding reminded me once again so I thought I would share a little love. :)

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    Amy @ whatjewwannaeat — February 15, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

    What a sweet post! My Grandma inspired me to start my blog- just another reason I let her know often how much I appreciate her!

    Reply

    • Jessica — February 15th, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

      That’s why I started my blog too!

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    Natalia - a side of simple — February 15, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

    This is beautiful, Jessica. I’m fortunate enough to have both of my grandmothers present in my life right now and I take in every moment I can with them. Thanks for reminding me to do so, though, and to really appreciate them for the incredible women they are.

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    Jess@atasteofconfidence — February 15, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

    This post really hit home and made me think of my late uncle. I am trying to model my life after his (in my own way), and I can identify with a lot of what you said. beautifully written! <3

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    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) — February 15, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

    Beautiful.

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    Hannah — February 15, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    This is a beautiful post, Jessica. Thank you. I’m incredibly lucky in that three of my grandparents (aged 81, 90, and 96), are all still with us, live in my town, and are still quite healthy. I love spending time with them, and wish I could give them a hug right now! However, they’re on holiday with my parents, so I shall settle for watering grandpa’s garden as he’s asked me to do :)

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    Dishes of Mrs. Fish — February 16, 2011 @ 12:00 am

    Such a beautiful post. My grandma is so very dear to me. I was crying as I read this. She’s like my BFF, my grandma.

    Hugs to you. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow.

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    Elizabeth@The Sweet Life — February 16, 2011 @ 12:03 am

    what a sweet post–you’ve done her proud, no doubt!

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    Candace — February 16, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    Beautiful post. There’s just something about a grandmother’s unconditional love and wisdom that can’t be denied or forgotten. I recently posted about my grandmother and the brave, wise and loving person she was. I can only hope I’ll be as much a blessing to my granddaughter. Thank you for sharing.

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    Melissa — February 16, 2011 @ 12:21 am

    Beautiful post, Jessica. Even though she is still living (and I hope she continues to for some time!), I have really treasured my little moments with my grandmother in the last 10 years or so. It’s good to keep your eye on the small stuff that we later realize is so much bigger. Hugs to you!

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    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — February 16, 2011 @ 12:34 am

    Oh Jessica, I remember reading this a year ago from Phoenix. I remember the day. My jaw hit the floor. I remember it so well. I remember the day, it was cold and dark, I remember my room. I remember feeling your pain for you. I am so sorry, again, for your loss.

    You have a wonderful attitude and spirit and you ARE carrying both your grandmas with you :)

    xoox

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    Kathy — February 16, 2011 @ 12:43 am

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I lost my daughter when she was a year and a half old in 2003. It’s been a long road, but I know she’s with me every step along the way, just like Mother Lovett and your Grandma.. ((hugs)) to you on the bittersweet day.

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    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — February 16, 2011 @ 12:50 am

    wow you are such an incredible writer. I mean really incredible. You have this way of acutally showing the story not just telling it. I feel like I almost know your grandmother in a way from the stories you tell

    take today to celebrate her life :)

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    Lauren — February 16, 2011 @ 12:54 am

    While tomorrow may be bittersweet…I hope it’s more sweet.

    I’m glad you began to write about this and I hope it’s brought you some comfort in doing so!
    You’ll be in my thoughts tomorrow.

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    Krystal — February 16, 2011 @ 1:10 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. Every Valentine’s Day as a little girl, I got a teddy bear and cookies or candy from my Grandfather. My older brothers were angry every year and I always ended up having to share my treats. Grandpa always told me I was his “little sweetheart” and I think this is why he spoiled me on Valentine’s Day. It’s been a little over 3 years since he passed, but I still feel his love all around me. Yesterday after speaking with my Grandmother and thanking her for the Valentine (she’s continued the tradition), I hung up the phone grateful that I could share my love with her. My eyes filled with tears and I instantly thought of Grandpa wishing he was here. Although they are not with us, we must remember the good times, the simple memories and celebrate the lives they had. Thanks again for sharing!

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    Paige @ Running Around Normal — February 16, 2011 @ 1:29 am

    Aww, what a heartfelt post :) My thoughts are with you today and tomorrow.

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    Your Dad — February 16, 2011 @ 1:35 am

    She definitely enjoys eternal communion with the Divine – but on this side of life she lives on in you! Told ya……………………..

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    Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches — February 16, 2011 @ 1:37 am

    This was beautiful. Thanks for sharing…I wish my grandma didn’t live so far away, so I could giver her a hug!

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    Katie — February 16, 2011 @ 1:55 am

    Aww, what sweet words from your dad! ‘Living on through you’ is such a cool thing!

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    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — February 16, 2011 @ 1:57 am

    I have goosebumps all up and down my body. Your grandmother sounds like she was an amazing lady – I can see why you miss her so much. I remember after my nana died when I was little, I always “talked” to her even though she wasn’t there. I guess I was welcoming her spirit, but I sure never heard her speak back.

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    Sonya — February 16, 2011 @ 2:34 am

    losing someone special is always so difficult. My brother will be gone 8 years this August and it doesn’t even seem possible that it has been that long. the wound of losing him is still so very fresh. I miss him just as much today as I ever have before.

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    jessi — February 16, 2011 @ 2:45 am

    i totally understand what you mean when you say you’ve felt her presence. i had a cousin die a couple of years ago and since he passed i’ve had a few extremely vivid dreams of him and when i wake up i look around the room to see him and remember that he is no longer here. at first i was really scared and freaked out by it but then i came to realize it was a blessing and you’re right their memory does live on within you. :)

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    Molly — February 16, 2011 @ 3:30 am

    I’m so glad you write stories like these. It makes me think of my grandma who passed away two years ago this past January. I had never heard of anyone being so close to their grandma as I was to mine until I read your posts. It brings back wonderful memories that sometimes I seem to put in the back of my mind. Grandma’s just have something no one else does. They are truly special. Thanks for sharing.

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    Kristen@PrettySweet — February 16, 2011 @ 4:00 am

    This was such a sweet post. I’m sure she would have loved to read it. We live in my grandparents’ old house, so I often think of my own grandmother while I’m cooking in their kitchen. Memories are awesome.

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    Barbara Braun — February 16, 2011 @ 4:12 am

    You sure are one special granddaughter, daughter, wife and friend….beautiful tribute to Mother Merchant

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    kyla — February 16, 2011 @ 4:53 am

    This brought tears to me eyes. What a beautifully written post. Now go out there and celebrate your grandmother’s life!

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    Ashley — February 16, 2011 @ 5:20 am

    What a lovely post Jess!! I enjoyed every word of it! xo

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    Paulette — February 16, 2011 @ 11:53 am

    Such a wonderful post. My grandparents died when I was very young, in fact my mom’s mother died on my birthday when I was ten. Mom is in a home and tonight when I walk in I will give her the biggest hug of love. I can see Mother Lovett now smiling and saying what a nice tribute to me and yes don’t cry celebrate my life it was grand. Paulette

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    Diana S — February 16, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    Your post reinforces the feelings I am having now. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my sister’s death. I was lucky enough to have seen her the weekend before her death. She lived about 2 1/2 hours away from me so I did not see her often. I recently found a video I accidently took when I was trying to take a picture of my two sisters when we were having a sisters weekend. I am so blessed to have made that accident as now I have the sound of her laugh with me forever. I think I might “invite” my sister’s spirit to visit me. I love having dreams of her. Once, shortly after her death, I received a wrong number phone call and at first I thought it was her voice. Maybe it was!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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