I’ve spent a lifetime being lost for words.

From my grade school years trying to talk with a speech impediment, to my teen years of moving and dealing with being a shy kid, I’ve found myself silent time and time again.

I’ve learned that this is one of the main reasons I’ve written and why I continue to write. Because it’s easier to say the things I need to say—the things I wish I could have said—in hindsight. Days or weeks or months or even years later.

Some things in life are just too hard to be spoken out loud.

Sometimes the moment isn’t right. Sometimes the words are too harsh. Or too sentimental. Or too shocking.

Sometimes you’re just not strong enough, and the moment passes.

This past July, I visited my relatives down in Greer, South Carolina. I had the chance to see my 91-year-old grandmother who was suffering from dementia. She didn’t seem to recognize me, but for a brief few moments on a Sunday morning while my Aunt Becky sang to the rest of the elderly folks at the facility, I thought that Gana and me made a small connection.

I’m the only grandchild of hers who called her Gana. It was from my difficulty with speech, from not being able to say either Nanny or Grandma. Instead, she was Gana.

On this Sunday morning, with Gana looking so frail and so tiny, I just knew. I knew that I was probably not going to see her again, not in this life, not here on earth.

So when my Aunt Becky got ready to leave, I said goodbye to Gana, knowing it would probably be the last time I ever said goodbye.

My heart ached knowing that she would never see our twins, the only great grand children of hers she hadn’t personally seen. Oh she loved babies. She would have loved meeting Brianna and Mackenzie.

With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, I told Gana goodbye.

And then I thanked her. For all the things she did for me and for all of us grandchildren.

Did she hear me? I don’t know. But I do know I told it to her face-to-face, then kissed her before leaving her.

Maggie May Breazeale passed away this morning, and we all rejoice that she’s in Heaven now. I celebrate her strength and her love. I know I’m not half as strong as she was.

Life is a breath and a blink, and we’re not promised tomorrow. Because of that, I try to say everything I need to say with each passing day. But . . .

Well, it’s hard to do that.

Sometimes you don’t have the energy or the words or the courage.

So I do what I’m doing now—I write.

I write to celebrate, and to grieve, and to remember.

I write all those words I wished I could have said time and time again.

Gana is in a better place now. A place that I believe we’ll never be at a loss for words. Not anymore.

Rest in peace, Gana.

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