I'm holding in this photo (besides my lovely mom) a keepsake she made for my wedding day, a pure white linen handkerchief with the most intricate crocheted lace trim.
All of her grandchildren had one of these, even the boys so they could give them to their wives. She couldn't be there to see me married, which broke my heart, and I didn't let that delicate hanky out of my hands that whole day. I was grasping onto her in any way I could. Just three short weeks after my wedding she passed away.
Looking back, I wish a lot of things. I wish I had let her teach me more. I wish I would have watched her more. I wish I would have listened. I wish my husband could have known her as I knew her, instead of the frail body that once worked and the cloudy eyes that once saw. I'm so afraid her memory will fade, so I'm still grasping on to her. Occasionally I dream at night of her, and it's so incredibly real that it's painful to wake up and know she's not here. But I wake up to my daughter who bears her great-grandmother's name, and I know she IS here. It is a testament to how much she impacted my life because, fortunately, the memories I have of her and the lessons I've learned from her have not diminished.