Walks in Wisconsin: For Gamamma

This post is in honor of my Gamamma, who would have been 77 years old today and just passed away this past February. I hope you’re having fun partying in heaven with Jesus today Gamama! We miss you.


Walks in Wisconsin

They remind me of you.

North Carolina trees always seemed

much taller than their coniferous

counterparts in my Colorado backyard.

The air smells sweet with water

“humidity” they call it here, but

growing up, I just knew it as

that North Carolina smell.

I thought, in Tennessee, I could

smell my way to your house; I

could smell us drawing closer & closer

with every mile, every state

welcome sign we passed.

Now, as I push the stroller,

full & warm with the little one you prayed

all night as we labored, your breath

labored sick & tired & dying;

but it’s now that I feel like you’re here.

The day you died, I felt it.

Listening to my mother’s voice

I felt you—no longer far away

in North Carolina, but here—

watching me wipe the counters,

cheering me on, as you have

since the day of my birth.

Even so. Loss gets to me.

Two weeks ago I opened the mail to see

a check for my birthday from Granddaddy

—but no card—

The card was always from you.

Carefully pulled from the filing cabinet

where you kept all the pretty cards;

for all joyful future you believed in,

that held golden word-treasures of the past.

Yesterday, I leaned down to smell the paper

of the wedding card you’d given

the day my heart rejoiced. I wanted

to smell your perfume, to imagine the pen

your soft & wrinkled hand held

as you scrolled the loving words.

It was the most beautiful card of all.

I should have known at once

who it was from—but it came as a surprise

to see your name in black on the white

your name printed on the check

your words & your voice in my head

clear as day.

It’s funny how you don’t stop showing up

months after you have died.

I almost see you more

see you everywhere—

—even here, on this walk

in Wisconsin.


4 thoughts on “Walks in Wisconsin: For Gamamma

  1. nchomeschoolmom

    Thank you, Gracie. You helped me shed some tears that I’ve got bunched up in there today. Beautiful. She would have love it.

  2. Joy Morton

    Grace I just saw this today! What a beautiful expression of your love for Gamama! I feel her close to me too, I know she is still watching and praying and cheering us on, even better now that she’s there with Jesus!

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