When I was little my mom and grandma had a tape that they would send back and forth. Grandma Dodd lived in Michigan and at the time long distance was expensive.
so, we would send this tape back and forth with recordings of our voices. I don't have any idea what we talked about. It might have been the weather or how much we missed each other.
I think I remember grandpa reading me books sometimes.
At some point that tradition went by the wayside. I can't recall when or why, but sometime in high school, after grandpa Dodd passed away, I found one of those tapes.
I listened to it and ended up just a puddle of tears thinking about all the good times we had, playing superman and going to the tridge.
In more recent years cell phones have made sending tapes back and forth rather unnecessary. You can hit one button and the person is on the other end.
For a long time I called grandma just about every other week. She resided in an assisted living facility in Anderson close to my mom and I should have gone to visit more often.
But it was easier to pick up the phone.
For the first few years things were like they always had been. We talked about life and she always assured me everything would work out. And she always ended the conversation.
"Brian, I love you."
And I would always say "I love you grandma."
As the years wore on, the talks got shorter and shorter and eventually consisted of me telling her about the girls. She didn't have much to say.
I don't even know when it was that she finally stopped really being the woman I grew up with and loved, but somewhere in there she gave up. So, when they diagnosed her with cancer for at least the third time in her life in February we all kind of knew it was over. They gave her less than a year to live sometime in June.
I still called her on and off, but not as much as before.
The last time I saw grandma she was in a nursing home bed this summer. I'm not sure she knew who I was and she definitely didn't know my girls. She looked at Little sister and said, my daughter's "granddaughter has glasses."
Now I wish I had more tapes of our conversations. I wish I could go back and hear her voice again. I wish I had gone to see her more.
But it's too late.
She died this morning at 12:30.