Martha Sheppard Memorial
My grandma, Martha Margaret (Perry) Sheppard, passed away on January 11, 2019. Despite not being a huge fan of public speaking, I decided that I wanted to say something at her service yesterday. I had a hard time coming up with something to write. But after coming across an open letter on my Facebook feed, I found the inspiration that I needed to write. I decided that I wanted to write a letter to my grandma because it was the best way I could say everything that I needed to say.
I miss you more than I ever thought was possible. I think about you every day, remembering what life was like when you were still here with us. How you would tell me a million times how you loved me to pieces. Or how you’d shove a $20 bill into my hand when you thought my mom and Poppy weren’t looking. I think it’s time someone finally broke it to you though… They knew. They always knew.
I think about all the conversations we could be having. Or all the special moments we should be sharing like you being at my wedding or holding your great-grandchildren. You were taken from us too soon. You were way too young. And despite how everything changed over the past few months, I’m still not used to not having you around. I miss all our texts. All the cards you would send me. When I think about it too long, my heart breaks all over again and I can’t help but think that it’s not fair that we had to mourn you twice.
I know that as time goes on the pain will subside and that you wouldn’t want me to live my life full of grief and sorrow. But I can’t help but to shed tears when I’m not ready to move on because our memories are still so fresh, so recent. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid that I’ll forget our special memories, the sound of your voice, or how it felt when you hugged me for the fourth time since starting to say goodbye. Even though I don’t think that it could be possible, I’m afraid your memory will fade.
So I’m sorry that I’m not ready to move on. I’m sorry I cry and that I wish things could be different. I can’t turn back the time but I can keep every memory of you close to my heart.
I have to believe that you’re watching me from heaven and that the reason you had to leave us so soon was because they needed another angel. I like to believe that you’re spending your days watching over us like the guardian angel you used to sing about in songs when you put me to bed.
So thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is and for always putting our family first. And for wearing party hats at my childhood birthday parties because those pictures are priceless. I promise that I’ll spend every day making you proud and trying to honour your life through my random acts of kindness and walking as much as possible, although admittedly it will probably be less in the winter because I hate the cold. But you would understand that, of course, having lived in Florida every winter for the past decade. And most of all, I promise that if I get the choice to sit it out or dance, I’ll always choose to dance.