Today I received news of my friend's mother's death. Actually he is my cousin's friend. He just graduated from high school and has two little sisters and this morning their mom lost her battle with cancer.

Although I had never met her, I mourned. I mourned for her kids because I know the pain of losing your mom. I cried, I prayed, and I remembered the day my grandma died. You see, my grandma raised me and was, for all practical purposes, my mom.

When I was little and she gave me a kiss I would lick my lips and swallow and say that I was taking her kiss to my heart. I would write little poems and leave them on the table for her to find when she woke up. I would dress up in her clothes and jewelry. I always wanted to be close to her- wherever she was, that's where I wanted to be. She was the person I trusted more than anyone in the world. She was home to me. And when I was 16 she died.

I remember touching her foot and telling her everything would be OK when they loaded her into the ambulance. It wasn't until I was halfway to the hospital that I thought she might not come home this time. When the chaplain met us at the door of the hospital and ushered into a "grieving room" those fears grew, and forty five minutes later the doctor that fought to save her life came into that little white room where we were waiting and told my grandpa and I that his fight, and hers, was over.

The first day of my senior year of high school I was at her memorial instead of in class. I'll never forget how alone I felt that day and in the months that followed. It was more than 6 months later when I laughed again after her death, and the sound of it surprised me.

This year was the 10 year anniversary of my grandma's death. I took a few days in the mountains and reflected on that time in my life. If you would have asked me back then I couldn't have dreamed what my life would be like today, 10 years later. I am like her in ways that I never expected (like my eclectic-ness and spontaneity). I wish that she could have seen me grow out of my snotty teen years and into the woman that I am now, although I don't think I would be the same person I am if it weren't for losing her. I am certain her death is one of the defining events of my life.

They say time heals all wounds, but I have come to learn that there are some wounds that will never fully heal. Life goes on, but there are times when I miss her more than most. Like when I am sick or the holidays roll around... or when there is a death in my circle of friends or family.

So when I heard of my friend losing his mom my heart broke for him, for his family... and all over again for me a little.

Where do I get my personality? Check with Grandma who is jumping on the toddler's trampoline!
Grandma and Grandpa.

That's me with the white hair.


A typical weekend at my house.

And in honor of Halloween...



  1. Miss Fletcher on November 1, 2009 at 10:18 PM

    Beautifully written Nicole. Thanks for sharing that, and for sharing your grandma with us.

  2. Child of Wonder on November 1, 2009 at 10:39 PM

    tears. i feel like i know you better.

  3. Paul on November 2, 2009 at 5:58 AM

    Very nice Nicole. It really makes me miss Grandma Jo too. She was a great lady and the best Mom in law anyone could have had! The picture at the end of Jerry is one of those things you cannot unsee.

  4. Renee on November 2, 2009 at 7:05 PM

    That is really beautiful and meaningful Nicole

  5. Nicole on November 3, 2009 at 6:41 PM

    So sorry to hear of the loss. :( I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Sounds like your grandma was awesome, the 10 years have shaped you into a beautiful person. Inside and out!

  6. Brianna Phelan on November 3, 2009 at 6:59 PM

    This was beautiful - thanks for sharing :)