I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I saw you. This year has been very hard without you. So much has changed. I have changed. I have traveled the world, well some of it. I’ve fallen more in love with God and his people. I have cried a lot. But laughed more. I’ve seen God physically work in and through people all year. I wish you were here now. I would love to tell you all about my crazy, amazing, unreal year. Maybe you already know all about it. Maybe you were watching me go through it all. I don’t really know how things work up there. I just wish I could have heard you laugh when I told you about sleeping in train stations, making friends with drunks and having birds poop in my hair. Or seen you smile when I talked about the incredible people God has placed in my life, the children that I’ve fallen in love with, and the beauty of God’s creation all over the world.
I miss you. A lot. So much it hurts. I tried picking up the guitar again, but it was too hard. I spent that whole weekend just playing and crying. I can’t bring myself to try again. Not for a while anyway. It just reminds me that I’ll never be able to hear you play and sing again. Mamaw is the strongest woman I know. I know it’s been hard on her, but she doesn’t show it. James lives with her now. I’m sure that helps her. I wish you could see how much our family has grown this year. You have a new grandson: Owen. He’s beautiful. More than physically, we’ve grown spiritually. James is active in God’s work. He’s coming to Honduras for a month this year, and he’s always doing something in the community.
Family gatherings are different. There’s still tons of people, actually more than usual. But it’s not the same. You’re not here. Right now I’m looking at your empty chair at the head of the table. I can almost hear you praying. I miss that. Your prayers were always more than a formality. They were a conversation between you and a good friend. It was beautiful.
I don’t know if this year will get easier. I doubt it will. I still think about you all the time. Every time my heart begins to ache. I know that you’re better now. You were in so much pain. But I’m selfish. I miss your voice. I miss your laugh. I miss your prayers. I miss your hugs. I miss you. You have shaped my life more than you know. I hope I’ve become someone you would be proud to call your granddaughter.