I hope you’re fine where you are. I hope you’re looking down at me right now with a broad smile on your face. I hope you’re proud of whom I’ve become. As a child, whenever I asked about you, they’d tell me you’re up there in heaven. They say it’s a very beautiful place and I hope to be there someday.
Sometimes I’ll ask them to tell me about you. I was so eager to know you, to know what you were like. Grandma Cecilia, I saw a picture of you. My dad had it in his album and I’m glad he kept it. You were beautiful. My dad says I take after you but from what I saw in that picture, you seemed to be more beautiful than me. I can only imagine what you were really like in reality. Grandma Alaba, I never saw a picture of you but I heard a little about you. You thrived regardless of the unfriendly environment you found yourself. You are like the strong woman I hope to be.
One thing that eventually became clear to me as I grew up is that your children never really got to know you. You left before they could even describe your personalities and I don’t think anyone really took time to inform them about who you really were. That made me pray all the time never to go through what your children went through.
I want you to know that your children survived and succeeded. I’m sure you’re proud of them too. They raised a woman like me. A part of you survived and that’s why I’m here right now, writing this letter. They carried on your genes. I’m sure some of your traits too, even though they wouldn’t recognise them. How else would we explain why I look so much like you, Grandma Cecilia?
I remember those times I would wish you were alive so that someone could put my parents in check. I’ll listen to the kids in my class talk about how their grandmother stopped their dad or mum from scolding them. I used to wish I could have that. Funny, I once cried because I had no grandmother.
I wish I had you to pamper me. I wish you were there to listen to all my flimsy and funny stories and laugh at my not-so-funny jokes. I wish I had pictures of us together. I wish I had memories to reminisce. I wish you were there in person to witness my big day. I wish you never left before I came. I wish you were still around. Maybe things would have been different, maybe not. All the same, I think you being here would have worked better for me.
When I watched the film “Coco”, it reminded me of you. If the story in that film were true, I’m sure you visit us too because I still remember you. Rest on Grandma. I love you even though I never met you and I hope you’re proud of yourself for having me as your granddaughter. I hope to finally meet you when the days permanently go dark and the light never comes on again.