Today, I woke up at 5:45am. A little earlier than usual, but I was ready to take on the world. So, I got up and crept out of the bedroom in hopes of not waking my son. I soundly warmed up a cup of tea. Then decided that it was a good day to meditate. So, I turned on my happy bulb light, sipped on my lemon-ginger tea, turned on my table fountain and put some essential oils on the candle warmer. The smells, sounds and the tastes were simply the epitome of relaxation. Lastly, I pulled up my Happier app and listened to a meditation session with Dave “Yeah-Dave” Romanelli. Usually during my meditations, I try my best to separate my thoughts and imagine myself on a beach or mountain top. This time, I decided to not rid of my thoughts, but to encourage them instead. I just repeated to myself kind words about myself to bring myself some encouragement. Then I started searching the room with my eyes for my blessings. Blessings such a roof above, food in the cabinets, my companion pet cat and good health all around. Then, I looked at the wall where the opposite side would lay my son and I started listing why I’m grateful for him. All of which put a smile on my face. Once the session ended I didn’t open up my eyes to see the same situation. Instead I was already looking at what I had. The positive start gave me a burst energy. So, then I woke up my son to welcome him to the new day.

I couldn’t help but feel as though today was more special than usual, yet I couldn’t quite grasp why. So I got my son up and ready for school like normal. We took our little trip to daycare and then I went on my way to my usual spot at my favorite coffee shop. I sat there preparing for some much needed work. Then, a Facebook notification popped up on my phone. It was my memories. That’s when I realized what today was…

Three years ago, I lost my grandmother Rudy. It was sudden, it was unexpected and it was a tragedy. I will never forget that heart crushing phone call from my father at 10:05am on January 24th of 2014. My heart still breaks if I think about that moment. She was still young and I still feel at times her life was robbed from all of us. She still had more to teach me about life. Whenever I feel like I just can’t catch a break in life, I just want to talk to her. I just want her advice and for her to tell me how to get through it all. Yes, I can speak to her in prayer, but I can’t hear her words, see her infectious smile and feel her bear hugs. I understand that God just needed her more and that he only takes the best, because she really was the best, but I feel like I needed her still.

However, the past two years on this day, she has sent me subtle hints that she is still with me. This morning, she used me to put encouraging words in my head. This would of been her style to send me uplifting spirits, because she had one of the most kindest of hearts. Two years ago, I knew the day was reaching. To avoid the thoughts of the loss, I tried to keep myself busy. It had been raining and stormy that entire day. Even through the nasty weather, I went out and about with a friend. After dinner, I sat there trying to settle my stomach. In that moment, I finally decided that it was okay to think about her. Once I did that, the sky suddenly cleared up and a beautiful sunset appeared. As the talented painter I always knew her to be, I just knew this was her work. The sky is now her canvas.


Even now, this whole week has been stormy with heavy rain and wind. However, for a moment as I walked yo my car to leave the coffee shop the sun shined bright through the grey clouds over me. I just knew it was her comforting me. She is still here with me. At that very moment, I began to reflect on my life and wonder if she is proud of the woman I am becoming. If she proud of my life and how I incorporate my artistic side into everything I do? I sure hope so.

That woman was such an important value to my life and I didn’t even know her for that long. Truthfully, she isn’t my biological grandmother and I even called her by her first name. She was my grandfather’s second wife. Unfortunately they had divorced shortly after my birth. She was extremely involved in Scientology. As we are learning from the A&E documentary series, Scientology and the aftermath by Leah Remini, Scientology broke up many families and drained many people financially. This was the ending result to their divorce. However many years later, when I was approximately 15 years old, I was reunited with her. She finally got to see me again, and I finally got to meet the woman behind the painting that used to hang in our kitchen for years that my mother spoke a lot about. Not long after our meet, her and my grandfather remarried making her my grandfather’s second and fourth wife. I couldn’t be more grateful for their lives to be rekindled. Her and I developed an immediate bond that instantaneously voided those missing years without her.

I’ll never forget the early days of trying to learn more and more about each other. She just wanted to welcome my brothers and I into her life to make up for the times lost. I’ll never forget our girls day where she took me to get my nails done at the local salon. Those were nice, but it was really her art that brought us together. My brothers and I liked art, but not like her. She had a way of awakening imagination and uplifting the creativity in our minds. She gave us the space to become original and allowed us to create whatever we desired while teaching us styles to bring out the beauty in our work. There I had earned the nickname, Doodle Bug. She loved to share encouraging words and make us feel special, especially knowing that we needed it. These were some of our toughest of times as we were dealing with not having our mother around anymore. I remember expressing my anger and disappointment about my mother not being who she used to be and why I felt she had abandoned my life. Even then as much as my grandmother’s heart broke for me, she still tried to help me try to find the compassion and good in my mother. My grandmother just had one of those kind of hearts where she didn’t cast judgment. She was blinded to faults and would only love anyone through their imperfections. This is what made me love her and want to be more like her.

Therefore, I felt very honored when I had inherited her studio. It was a wonderful addition to my own studio and to keep her legacy going. Most importantly, I was granted permission to take one of her original paintings. There was only one piece that I felt more attached to. I only wanted her unfinished painting that sat on her easel for a year and half. I took it frameless and as is, because I felt that it had represented my grandmother’s life perfectly. She was magnificent, special and was unfinished as well.


She gave these things to me and my family, because she had developed this special bond with us all. Even a few days before her passing, she told my father over the phone that she loved us all so much and that we were truly family to her. It was almost as if she knew that her time was coming. Although, angels usually do know.

I love you and miss you, Rudy


Written by J. Marie

Mom of three boys. Assistant Manager - Meris Gardens Bed & Breakfast . Blogger . Photographer . Marketing Director . Custom Art . Part-Time Student . Pursuing career in Mental Health Services

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