I was twelve when I unexpectedly lost my Grandma Buiskool to a rare blood disease.
My mom and her were super besties and subsequently I was close to her as well.
I loved our time together eating dill pickles with sharp cheddar cheese, rummaging through her drawers for treasures, playing with her old Avon containers and most of all the privilege of spending the night all by myself in my uncle’s bedroom.
I saw her for the last time the Friday before she died. I remember my parents backing the car out of the driveway and thinking – oh no – I didn’t tell her I loved her – well I can tell her next week when we visit. I never got that opportunity as she died two days later. That omission will forever haunt me. After she passed away, I started seeing her in my dreams, popping in now and then to silently observe. She regularly visited my nocturnal visions for over a decade, each year moving a little farther away into the landscape of my dream. I last saw her when I was 23. She was so so far away as she smiled and waved goodbye. I don’t know if she left because I was a grown up now and didn’t need her to watch over me or if I finally subconsciously said farewell.
Recently my favorite aunt (her daughter) was diagnosed with lung cancer. Our family has been hit like a brick with this diagnosis. After crying for weeks about it,
I was randomly reminded about my Grandma’s favorite verse - Phillippians 4:13.
Inspired by this memory I created this collage using a photo of her in her twenties.
I’m printing it on canvas and sending it to my mom, aunt and uncles.
Maybe Grandma will visit me in a dream this week and tell me if she likes it.