Hey, Mama.

Joanna ZuidemaComment

Hey, Mama. 

Today is your heaven day. 

One year ago you left this earth to go take care of your granddaughter. You had excitedly said that you get to hold Norah first, and mama, I hope you’re getting constant snuggle time.


To say we miss you is an understatement. In many ways it feels like you’re on an extended vacation and could walk through the door at any moment, as if you and Norah have just been off exploring the world on a long girls’ trip.

I hope you had a great birthday celebration in heaven. Your birthday gift came earthside just a day early (Lora was born the day before Mom’s birthday, and I can just hear Mom saying, “Of course – she should have her own special day.”), and oh how I wish you could see her.

My heart aches as I envision what it would have been like to have you here to meet your second granddaughter. What would you have said about Lora’s hair? What sort of tender advice would you have shared? Would you have stayed with us once we got home? Would you have cared for me like you did when I was little and sick?


I think about how you would’ve been retired with dad now, and it seems so unfair that the time you had been most looking forward to was edited out of your story. You would’ve had all the time in the world to focus on being grandma – a title you wore with such pride.

There are times now where Lora fusses and is only soothed by my arms that I feel the same way; seeking a comfort that only mama can give.

Instead of watching you cuddle Lora, I feel you as I rock her to sleep in the same chair you used to nurse me. I feel you in the quiet patience I somehow still magically have at 3am after getting basically no sleep. I see you in the frost-covered forest, and the blue jays and cardinals that add pops of color to the snowy scene out my window. 

In one sense you’re gone, but in other ways you’re still so very near.

And Mama, please don’t ever leave.