April 21, 2017: My Grandma Millie

I never truly appreciated
my grandmother
until she wasn't
really my grandmother anymore. 

As a teenager, I was forced
to go up to my grandparents'
house one summer.

Their house always
displayed pictures
of my dad and his brothers
and sister
when they were small. 

It disappointed me
to see that my cousins'
pictures crowded
my family's polaroids. 

I never thought
I would truly miss
the way she would hug
each of us grandkids
as if she was never
going to see us again. 

After she had been
confined to Fort Dodge's
nursing home
she never showed
how badly her heart
was breaking...
knowing that she was fading. 

I can never say
I knew my grandma
but I can say
that I felt her broken heart
wishing I could
mend it with my own.