I am starting to forget the sound of your voice, Mary, although I can still hear your laughter.
I am starting to forget how it felt to come visit you, Mary, although I will never forget how it felt to be with you.
I am starting to forget the exact words you spoke on our last call, Mary, although I will never forget the moment I heard them.
I am starting to use up the last of the stationary you bought me, Mary, although I will never forget its beauty.
I am starting to forget the last time I visited you at your house, Mary, although I will never forget the sunlight in your room that day.
I am starting to forget the sadness, Mary, although I will never forget the vast loss of you.
I have begun teaching my boys about you, Mary. We wished you a happy 84th birthday last week. They started asking about where you were, and who you were, and where you lived. I told them you were their great grandmother, and that you were my best friend. I told them that you were a teacher, and that you lived in Columbus before you went to heaven. We saw your picture, and they called you, "Mary."
I will teach them that the words that adorn their bedroom wall were written by you, Mary. I will teach them that they are part of a wonderful family, but they already know. They love your children as I do, they love your grandchildren - and their children - and already have a special bond. They run towards our family, Mary. They run towards because that is what you taught me to do. They already know that their best friends will always be with them.
I was making them dinner the other day, Mary, and I heard the familiar melody of Carmen Ohio begin to play. It was coming from the Columbus snow globe you gave me for Christmas, I think it was shortly after I graduated college. For a moment, I wondered if it was you telling me you were near. It played and I listened. No other sounds were coming from the office where it sits high upon a shelf, too precious to be any lower. I listened. I walked to the room and there was my husband, holding that little globe--and there were your great grandchildren staring up at it in amazement. I told them that you bought me that, Mary. Then they showed their dad your picture.
You have been gone far longer than seems possible. Nine years since I held your hand for the last time. Nine years since I wiped that last, solitary tear from your eye. You are with me every day and I with you.
I love you, Mary.