Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dear Nonny: One Year Later

Dear Nonny,

How has it already been a year? And to that same token, how has it only been a year? On the one hand, it's crazy to me how life really has gone on - it has to, I guess - but there are some moments that I'm so overcome with grief that I don't even know what to do with myself. To that same affect, the thought to text you a funny video of Sophie or call you about a grammar question still arises much more often than not. You were my confidante, my cheerleader, my best friend. You kept me company on the phone during the hours of driving I did. And I miss that so incredibly much. 

Sometimes, it feels like you're just on one of your European vacations, and that I'll talk to you when I get back. When I realize that's not the case, it hits like a ton of bricks. At least 10 times a day, you cross my mind - I'm thankful for that though. I'm thankful for the millions of memories I have of you, the things that remind me of you. It doesn't really make it any easier, but it at least provides a little bit of comfort. So often, I think we didn't get enough time. We talked about traveling, seeing some of your favorite countries. My birthday is tomorrow, and I think of how some of my most treasured memories are the moments we spent just the two of us on our "birthday date." I wish with all my heart that you would be there when I pick out a wedding dress, when I get married, when I have kids. I know that you'll be with me, but it's still just not the same.

A lot has happened in this year: I transitioned into the role of account executive, which is what you had hoped for me. I moved back to Wilmington. I changed jobs and started working with River Landing, and wished beyond belief to talk to you about that transition. I activated my real estate license, and I'm thankful you and mama and daddy encouraged me to pursue that. I've settled into a different life, and some of that is hard, because it's a part of life that you haven't been right there beside me.

I read a story right after you passed about a cardinal making an appearance rather frequently outside the home of a woman who had passed away. I realized I had been seeing cardinals everywhere - and it turns out that this cardinal thing seems to be the real deal. Who knew? You probably. You know everything. But there's a cardinal that lives outside the window of my house, there's a cardinal that flies into a bush at the office at least three times a week when I pull into the parking lot for work, a cardinal that sits in a tree right outside my office window. Strangely enough, I was on my first solo real estate showing walking into the home when a cardinal flew so close to me that it barely missed my face. And before a presentation for work in D.C., I nervously looked up in the banquet room and saw a cardinal chandelier. Coincidence it could be. Or it could just be something I've conjured up to make myself feel a little better, but either way, it does just that. 

I still have a hard time grasping the fact that you're no longer of this earthly world. I begged and pleaded with God to make you better, and I was angry when He didn't. I'm reminded of how strong of a faith you had, and how you once told me that if just one person's faith was changed for the better because of you, then it was all worth it. How selfless that is, and how much I want to be just like you. Emma shared this verse with me the other day: "Seen in Him "Rabbi," his disciples asked him, "Why was the man born blind? Was it because of his sins or his parents' sins?" Jesus answered, "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him." That verse relates so much to how you viewed ALS, and what a powerful way to think. 

I constantly relay stories about you to those who know you and to those who didn't. I'm beyond thankful to always have someone to look up to. I am so proud that you are my grandmother- and I am proud that I am your granddaughter. I love you, my Nonny. Missing you!

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  1. So beautiful Zelle. Your Nonny is looking over you and I have no doubt she is always around you.

  2. Such a sweet post girl. Your Nonny is definitely watching over you. That cardinal thing definitely isn't just a coincidence. <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. Love this, Zelle! I know she is still with you every day. You were lucky to have spent so much quality time with her!! xoxoxo


  4. This was so beautifully written, Zelle. Thinking of you today and sending you lots of love! Your Nonny is so proud of everything you've done this year!

  5. Oh my goodness. I literally didn't get through but 3 sentences before I started tearing up. So beautifully written. Thinking of you and your family!

    Sara Kate Styling

  6. Oh my goodness, thinking of you today and this week my friend. This was a beautiful letter, and I'm sure your Nonny always is with you.

  7. Sending you positive thoughts today and this week! What a sweet post and I love the cardinal story! xo, Champagne&Suburbs

  8. Such a touching post Zelle! Your Nonny is looking down on you, and I'm sure you make her proud every day. I lost my Grandpa right before I started law school. At graduation last week, I could definitely feel his presence but it didn't make missing him any easier. I empathize with your journey - loss is something we force ourselves to adapt to. It's not easy, but rest assured knowing she's helping you every step of the way.

    Lauren xo // The Right to Remain Fabulous

  9. Oh this breaks my heart, but it's so absolutely beautiful. My husband's grandmother is in pretty bad health and I know that he's feeling so many of the things you felt before you lost your Nonny. Thank you for sharing your story about the cardinal, I think that he will take some comfort in that as well!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  10. This is the kindest, sweetest letter Zelle. Sending you big hugs today and hoping you see a red cardinal cross your path today. xx


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