She told me she loved me more than anything or anyone on this earth.
She told me it was better if I stayed at her house tonight, there were too many other children at my own home. Here, I was the 'only' one and here I wasn't a burden, I was a gift.
She told me nobody would ever love me like she did.
She told me I was such a good girl. Such a pretty girl. Such a special girl. She told me God sent me just for her to make up with the little girl she had lost during pregnancy because my Papa did something to make her and the baby sick.
She told me all the 'truths' about my Mom and Dad, my brothers and sisters, she told me 'who' was to blame that I was born with a congenital heart defect.
She told me of all of my Papa's extramarital activities, and of her one true love-and how he had been taken from her life.
She took me shopping and bought me expensive things to show me how wonderful I was.
She taught me to love pretty lipstick, great shoes, fine clothing and lovely perfume, it was important to look and act like a little lady.
She and I slept in the same bed - my Papa slept alone in the other room because men just wanted women for one thing anyway.
She did not speak to me for two weeks at a time when I had 'disappointed' her, unless we were in front of other people.
She taught me her cooking secrets and she told me her deepest secrets - I didn't understand. I understood I held the key to her happiness.
She taught me I held the power of the peacekeeper, the joybringer and the devastation maker.
All this...before I was my daughter's age - my daughter is seven. Hard for me to swallow.
She was my Grandma.
She told me I was 'killing her'.
She told me I was 'putting her in her grave early'.
She told me that God would punish me someday.
She told me to bring her flowers now, not to her grave.
She told me God was watching me.
She told me God wanted me to stay a 'good' girl.
She told me I was set apart to love her, I was so special.
She told me she would die without me.
She told me I was her angel.
She told me I was breaking her heart.
She told me I was making her crazy and sick.
She told me I was selfish.
She told me she loved me more than any other child or grandchild, she left them a letter when she was dying so they would 'understand' why.
She told me I was the kindest hearted person to ever walk this earth.
She told me I should feel guilty for having no conscience.
She was my Grandma.
She gave me tremendous power, the kind of power that devastates and makes you weak in the knees. The kind of power a child does not want or deserve. The kind of power that renders a soul powerless for a time. She loved me, truly she did. And I loved her, absolutely. I honestly forgive her. A daily choice. I am still healing.
She was my Grandma. I am ME.
I write this not to hurt or wound any person. I write this to release it so it has no hold over me. If another heart hears something in this that resonates with them and can bring any portion of healing to their life, I am doubly blessed.
I am brave, worthy, loved by God and truly happy, I am an engaged and trusting Momma with the heart of a child and I am a surrendered, whole woman basking in the warmth of God's sunshine. I have traveled this journey well and have the strongest desire to strengthen my joy, release my past so it does not define me and let my Jesus hold me tight....and he will.
"You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11