Holidays. Birthdays. The day they physically left us. These are the ones that hit the hardestthe toughest days. But they are also the expected ones, which makes it just the slightest bit more manageable.

It’s the ones you don’t see coming that absolutely break you. The ones that come from way out in leftfield and hit you like a ton of bricks. The ones that force you to grieve all over again, something you never thought you would have to do.

It’s when my daughter is happily sitting in a church pew reading her prayers when I wish they were here to see it. It’s when my husband and I are enjoying a night out at the casino, and I instantly think of them. It’s when March rolls around, and I hear that first sound of a bagpipe that my eyes instantly water imagining their smiles. The tiniest moments that make me say, “They would have loved this.”

RELATED: I’d Give Anything For One More Day With My Grandparents

It’s these and the thousand more moments that cross my mind all the time. Especially when I look at the sweet girl in front of me and think about how much they would love her and be in absolute awe of the remarkable human she is becoming. I know they are all with her, but it doesn’t hurt less.

But it’s these days, when I miss you most, that I also try to make the most out of the day. I put down the phone a little more and pick up my daughter instead. I put away the frozen food and pull out a family recipe. I play music that makes me think of them or watch movies that remind me of them. I use one of their catchphrases to bring out a little laugh. I reminisce in more ways than I can count.

On days like this, I love a little harder and try to fight a little less. The tiny little things that would send me spiraling any other day don’t seem to bother me as much. I stop thinking about how hard it is without them and try to remind myself of how good it was with them. The memories are endless and surpassed only by the amount of love I felt from each of them.

I show my daughter your photos. Although she never met her great-grandmas, they hang beautifully over our stairs, and we point them out by name. She doesn’t understand the magnitude of it all, but she understands Mommy had grandmas too, and she loved them very much.

It breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces when my daughter points out a photo of herself and my grandpa—the man she had the deepest bond with. She delicately walks past the photo hanging on our stairs and heartbreakingly says, “Mommy, that’s your grandpa! You really loved him, right? I liked him too right?” And she did. She so, so did.

RELATED: Even Though You’re In Heaven, Your Grandchildren Will Know You

While those moments break me, they also rebuild me. They remind me of how lucky we were to have these people in our lives. Lucky for the moments and memories. Lucky to have the best angels on our side. The ones I whisper a quiet thank you to after every doctor visit that goes well, every time we overcome a new obstacle, and any time something good happens.

And then I talk to them. In my head, out loud, through my writing. I ask for help and guidance. I ask if I’m doing this crazy thing called life okay. I tell them about the things their great-granddaughter is up to and how blessed I feel for the life we’ve built.

They may not be here physically, but I feel them here all the time. They were a significant part of my beginning and therefore are so very much a part of the life I live now. The wonderful life they helped me build without even knowing it.

If I’m lucky, the days I miss them most will also happen to be the days I see that bright red bird sitting in our backyard. The one I’ve convinced myself is a sign. We say good morning, and then I hug my daughter just a little tighter, for a little longer, and that’s how I make it through the days I miss them most.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Megan LaPorta

Hi! I am the mama of a 4-year-old daughter. I have recently made the jump from the corporate world to full-time mom life. I've always had a passion for writing & am so glad to be able to share it!

Life After Grandparents

In: Cancer, Grief
Life After Grandparents

My last living grandparent passed away in October, and I’ve been thinking a lot about life after grandparents. My grandfather was 87-years-old when he died of cancer. Before that, he was married to my grandmother for 61 years and lived a long and happy life with his two daughters, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was a man of faith, and I know he is in a better place. His death wasn’t especially tragic. He grew old and passed away, as humans do. And, yet, it still hurts. I even feel like I need to qualify this essay with an,...

Keep Reading

Grandparents Are the Ties That Bind Families Together

In: Grown Children
Bride with grandparents on beach, color photo

Macaroni and cheese with a side of applesauce. Family beach trips every summer. The GOOD high heels on our small feet, and beach towels draped around our necks. Living room forts built lovingly with blankets, chairs, and pillows. Sunday dinners. Holiday get-togethers. Leisurely strolls with a loyal dog. Cousins. Family. Laughter. Love.  When I get to the end of my life or am ever asked to look back on my grandparents, these are the memories I will cling to and will wrap around me like a blanket to bask in the warmth.  RELATED: Dear Modern, Busy People: Bring Back Family...

Keep Reading

Grandparents Create a Special Kind of Joy

In: Living
Grandmother holding baby, color photo

Grandparents say grandkids are the joy of their life—I think they got it backward. Grandparents are such a special treasure, and they shape the lives of their grandchildren in an immeasurable way.   It’s magical weekends at Grandma’s filled with fresh chocolate chip cookies and void of rules. It’s planting in the garden with Grandma and running through the speckled sun beneath her deck. It’s sun-drenched afternoons at her neighborhood pool with popsicles and floaties. It’s Grandpa sneaking the snack pack in at bedtime for one more treat. It’s more creativity and imagination than you ever dreamed of. It’s having them...

Keep Reading