Loved ones leave this world, but don’t leave heart

My nan was a beautiful and loving person who would always bring love and warmth into any room – especially on the cold winter days.

I have so many memories of her that I could write a George R. R. Martin novel-size series that would only touch the edge of what she means to me.

We loved baking together. Her peanut butter cookies, short bread cookies and my all-time favorite lemon meringue pie were just some of the treats we would make together. There would always be a delicious dessert to follow her amazing meals whenever we had the chance to be together.

She loved spending time with my brother, my cousin and I. Every summer my cousin and I would be camping with my nanny and papa. I know she looked forward to the summer trips as much as I did.

It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years on Tuesday since I got to make a new memory with her – I’ll never forget the last one though.

I saw her on my birthday – two days before she passed away. It was my 13th birthday and all I can remember is hugging her and never wanting to let her go. If I would have known it was going to be my last time seeing her I would have never let her go.

My mom and my aunt always tell me that she held on for those two extra days because she didn’t want my birthday to always be a reminder of the day we said good-bye. But it still is – in the best way possible. Every birthday I am always thinking of her and the memories we have made.

When I think of my nan, I think of a strong, loving and carrying wife, mother and grandmother who would do anything to take away our pain. Whether it was a hug when you needed it most, a kiss on a scraped knee or just knowing she was there for you – my nan did it all.

I got a tattoo two years ago, not because I needed a reminder that she is always with me, but so when people see it and ask what it means or what it is for I get to share her memory with someone else.

My tattoo says, “Never for one second believe those who have left this world have left your heart, 02.24.07.” I came up with that quote because I believe it to be true more than anything.

Cancer took her life too early as it has with too many people in my family – that is why a cancer ribbon accompanies my quote. It’s to represent all the loved ones I have physically lost, but who will never leave my heart.

I miss my nan more than words could ever describe, but I know she is with me wherever I go.

 

BECKY HILKER

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