It is 33 years now that we have known each other. There's are just a few people in my life that have known me for that long. You've watched me grow up. So many of my first memories are with you and Granny in that little house on Burleson St. in Fort Worth Texas. I can see you in my memory, walking down the driveway to greet us at the car every time we came to visit. I see you sitting on the back patio smoking a cigar. Cigars. Every time I smell a cigar I think of you. Do you remember loading up in the Toy (RV) to go to the lake lot? What fun adventures we would all have. All us cousins just laughing and carrying on into the night. I can feel the wind in my hair and smell the lake still, with you at the steering wheel. You would playfully tug at my ears and call me Chrissie sometimes and smile at me. We have quite the connection me and you. You began within me a love for Texas Longhorn Football. It started when I was a Freshman in College. I would watch the games on Saturdays and call you to see what you thought. We still do that you and I, don't we. I call and you say funny things about the calls, the coaches, the players. I longed so much these past two years to go to watch them live, I wished we could've gone together. I do love the Longhorns, but I love the Longhorns the most because my Grandaddy does. It was something we could talk about, something I shared with you and no one else. I would call, remember, and say "It's your favorite Granddaughter. How bout them Horn's today" and you laugh when I say that because you have multiple granddaughters and the Longhorn's were not always winning.
I am writing you this letter because we are in a long goodbye, you and I. A long distance goodbye, a long wait, a longhorn farewell. You are sick, you are at home fighting to breathe with a broken heart and I am here in Kansas City, longing to be there with a breaking heart. Longing to make you laugh and say some silly things that I wouldn't say to anyone else, because they wouldn't understand. I long for you to be healthy, to see you sititng in your favorite chair there next to Granny, laughing at your great-grandsons and asking us about how life is as a yankee now that I live in the north. Instead I write to begin our long goodbye.
I promise to continue to love the Longhorns, now it will be very special because it will be a piece of you I get to keep. I will cheer loudly and curse at the bad plays and bad calls in your honor. Maybe this year will be our year, don't we say that every year? It won't be easy to love them as passionately knowing it won't be an excuse to call you and check in, but I will try. I promise to check in on Granny, to love her more and extra special in your absence. I promise to sit out on the swing like we used, the white swing out in the yard and reflect on life. I promise to eat extra fudge during Christmas time so Granny doesn't have to eat it all. I promise to remember the great times we had together and keep the cousins from growing too far apart. I promise to drink sweet tea and keep the ho-hos in the refrigerator (wrapped in foil), because everyone knows cold sweet tea and ho-hos are the best. I promise that in this long goodbye I will pray for you Grandaddy. I pray that you know God loves you more than me, and I pray you speak with God today and square up our section of Heaven. So that when I die you, Aunt Shirley and all the others that went before will greet me at the gates with Jesus. Then, I can catch you up on your Horn's and give you a BIG hug. I promise to live a great life, to be a wife and momma you are proud of. I've always wanted to make you proud Grandaddy. I don't know when you will say goodbye, but I pray that God gives you peace in all this, knowing that you have done good by all of us. That we will continue in love as a family and take care of each other as we have been taught to love each other fiercely. It's a long distance goodbye I send. With a kiss and with I'll see you later, i send you an I love you. They say a lifetime is like a minute in heaven, so you won't miss us too long then...
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.