Dear Grandma,

I am one of the blessed ones to have grown up with you by my side. You taught me to crack an egg, do my own laundry, and that there is always time to sit and talk over tea. You encouraged me to chase my dreams, no matter the cost. You never once forgot to tell me how proud you were of me, or how you loved me even when I wasn’t making the best decisions.

Grandma, I remember the day I walked into the room and told you I was expecting your first great-grandchild. I was only 20 years old, very recently married, and honestly, I was terrified. I just knew you would look at me like everyone else had and tell me it was too soon. I just knew that you would give me that disapproving glance over your glasses with a slight huff and shake of your head. You didn’t, though. Instead you broke out into the biggest smile I’ve ever seen you wear and gushed over how excited you were. 

The day that first beautiful baby boy of mine entered the world, you were right there. You looked at him like the sun had gone out and he had somehow brought it back to life. You went on and on about how you had never seen someone so perfect, not even your own children. You went out and bought funny shaped teethers and onesies with sarcastic sayings on them. When he was admitted to the hospital at seven months old, you rushed out to get a welcome home gift. You loved him endlessly. 

You did the same when I came to you just 16 months later to tell you he was going to be a big brother. In a time everyone else felt the need to voice their concerns, you radiated positivity. You lifted me and my babies up. You told me I had nothing to worry about. 

A few months later, you got sick. What started as a cough landed you in the hospital with a diagnosis of advanced stage small cell carcinoma. You fought until you couldn’t fight anymore, and I stood by your bedside as you left us. 

Luckily, my prayers were answered and you got to gush over my second baby while he lay in your arms. You didn’t get to rush out for teethers and onesies this time, though. Instead we rushed to you, keeping small hands away from oxygen lines and medications that covered the countertops. I had prayed that my sons would be as lucky as I was with you, too, but God needed you more. 

In the wee hours of that April morning when you left us, you left a gaping hole in all of our lives. Since then, I’ve been trying to think of the things I need to teach my sons in order to fill it. The truth is, though, I can’t. I can teach them to crack eggs, do their laundry, and to slow down every now and then. I can make sure they know how loved they are. I can’t fill them with the sound of your laugh, though. I can’t look forward to the day that they’re finally old enough for you to teach them how to play cards with you. I can’t fill the hole that belongs to you and you alone. 

I know it was your time, but to me you will always have been gone too soon.

I will always wish for one more afternoon talk over tea. I will forever think of you when I see a teether shaped like a piece of bacon or broccoli. Every time I pass by a gigantic chocolate cake in the grocery store I will smile a sad smile because I know if you were here you would pick it up, plop it in the cart, and share a devilish grin with my boys. 

I wish you were still here beside me physically, but I know you’re here spiritually. I know that whenever my boys are having a tough time, you will be right there with them. They may not get to see your smile or hear your laugh, but I know they will feel your comfort. Your physical body may be gone, but your love is eternal.

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

Shelbie Farmer

I’m a full time bookkeeper, but my favorite “job” is being mama to my sons. I have a love for all things personalized, early morning cuddles, and way too many sweets. Writing is my favorite way to talk about how much I love motherhood and my hope is that the things I write will resonate with other moms. 

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Small dog with head hanging out car window, color photo

Our dog Carlos has slowed down considerably within the last few months. He’s always been outspoken and opinionated–a typical firstborn trait–and to hear him snoring most of the day and tolerating things he normally wouldn’t tolerate (i.e. being carried from place to place by my son, forklift-style) put me on notice that he’s in the fourth quarter. Carlos looks and acts like an Ewok from the Star Wars franchise. According to Wikipedia, Ewoks are clever, inquisitive, and inventive. Carlos checks all three boxes. As a puppy, we tried crate training, but it never took. It wasn’t for lack of trying....

Keep Reading

You’ve been Gone a Year, So Why Does It Feel Like Yesterday?

In: Grief, Loss
Old photo of mother hugging her young daughter, color photo

In February, you will have been gone a year. How is that right? It was just yesterday. I still remember the day we got the diagnosis. One I knew was coming but still prayed wasn’t true. I still remember promising you that everything was going to be okay, and knowing that it wasn’t. I still remember the first time I saw you and thought to myself, “The dementia is moving too fast.” It was just yesterday. I still feel your hand in mine as I sat next to you in the hospital bed. You were talking and humming along while...

Keep Reading

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

Growing Slowly around the Grief of Losing Your Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Sad woman sitting on couch with folded arms

Everyone has heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Society often assumes the stages of grief happen in order, but those who encounter grief know that’s not true. Undergoing grief can feel like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded—disorienting and chaotic. There are numerous ups, downs, and twists you wouldn’t anticipate. Grief is like an ocean. When waves come crashing, it feels like you’re being swept away. Regardless of their size, waves are always rough. Despite everything, you also get pushed forward to the shore after every wave. Sometimes, you may feel like you are drowning...

Keep Reading

The Shattering Grief of Suicide

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Sad person sitting in darkened hallway, black and white image

Navigating through my second Christmas without my dad, the weight of grief seemed even heavier this year. In fact, everything felt and looked different to me. As I unwrapped the ornaments and cards he gave me over the years, a tidal wave of madness and sadness engulfed me. I know many feel sadness and grieve during these times, but let me just say . . . suicide is a different type of grief. My vibrant, happy, physically fit dad committed suicide on April 30th, 2022. There, I said it. In the aftermath, a myriad of emotions consumed me. One perplexing...

Keep Reading

Dear Dad, Maybe You’re the Bird

In: Grief, Loss
Young girl sitting on father's lap, older color photo

Maybe you’re the bird. The one I see outside my door. The one who flies so low it seems you’re somehow weighted down. Like you’re carrying more than just yourself. Like you’re carrying a message. Just for me. Maybe you’re the rain. The sound I hear that reminds me so much of home. Of you. Of driving in your car as a little girl when you looked over and asked my opinion about everything. When you made someone so small feel so very big. RELATED: Dad Left a Legacy in Fried Green Tomatoes Maybe you’re the butterfly. The one I...

Keep Reading

I Hope You Never Know What it’s Like to Forget Who You Are

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Woman staring at camera, black-and-white photo

I write best when I’m passionate. It’s always been my release. But lately, I’ve struggled to write. I’ve struggled to find purpose in my words. It’s all been twisted and choppy, not a bit poetic or beautiful. These feelings are what the struggles of loss, parenting, work, and marriage push against. It’s finding yourself over and over again and trying to make sense of the senseless. It leaves you questioning most things and leaves you feeling broken with no idea how to put yourself or others back together. I hope you never know. I hope you never know what it’s...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Know How to Live Without My Sister, But I Must

In: Grief
Sisters smiling in posed color photo

I’ve spent a year of my life living in a haze. Holding my breath, afraid to exhale. Focusing on staying in this frozen moment where there is no reality. I pressed the pause button. Pumped the brakes. I’ll stay right here and wait for my life, life as I knew it, life as I loved it, to come back around. Where there is no future to mourn, thinking about the way it should have been and no torturous past to remember, recalling the horror of that day. The special occasions that will come are now outlined in sadness. Wait, she’s...

Keep Reading

6 Ways to Be a Friend to Someone Grieving

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Friends hugging

Grief can truly be such a lonely experience after you lose a loved one. The loneliness isn’t necessarily because you don’t have anyone around you. It’s because only you had your relationship with the person who died, and it’s hard to find anyone to replace that. I have first-hand experience. My mom died recently and unexpectedly at the age of 62 and I at the age of 34, and it single-handedly has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. However, having support from family and friends will help you navigate this difficult time. Without it, the loneliness...

Keep Reading

These Final Gifts from My Mom Are Hard to Let Go

In: Grief, Loss
Little girls boots with worn toes, color photo

My daughter wobbled toward me in silver, square-toed go-go boots, one heel dislodged and flopping against our hallway’s faux wood floor. On her opposite foot, a striped sock peaked curiously through the growing toe hole. “Mama,” she said. Her tiny voice raised another octave, “My shoe!” I sighed, then sat on the floor. Waves of grief washed over me as I contemplated what kind of glue might capably reconstruct the shoe’s sole. Elmer’s glue? Textile glue? Maybe Krazy Glue? I knew the boots should just go into the bin. And yet, they—along with a vibrant, overbearing cat dress that would...

Keep Reading