Stephanie Pearce: We wish you were here
I feel your presence as I drive down the road. I thought about how you would have enjoyed this trip to State Fair. You would have enjoyed it because of the reason for the trip, to watch your granddaughter. I thought about you more on this particular trip than I have since you’ve been gone.
I missed hearing what route you thought we should take. I thought about what stories you would have told on this trip.
I thought about which parts you would complain about. The room on the second floor. The breakfast at the hotel ending so early. The waitresses seating us in booths. The heat.
I thought about how proud you would have been to see your granddaughter walk gracefully across the stage in the dress she made. You were pretty excited about her project. You would have been so proud of her with how she fixed the zipper that broke a couple of days before it was to be turned in. I know you had a hand in it because you always were fixing things for her.
When we were talking to your granddaughter at the restaurant telling her not to expect to win because there were some really good models, I could hear you in my head telling me to shut up. Even as we went on telling her which ones we thought were better and why, I could hear you saying there was no one that compared to her onstage. I could hear you telling her not to listen and that she looked amazing.
When the names were being called for the top 15, in no particular order, and she was called near the last, I could hear you complain that she should have been called sooner even though it didn’t matter. When we didn’t hear her name called for Reserve Champion and we started packing up, I could feel you nudge me like I should pay attention, so I did. I could see you watching your granddaughter onstage winning Grand Champion. I could hear your laugh as you pointed toward her and said, “I told you so! I can’t believe you doubted her!” And I could watch you clap and say, “Yeah!”
When I walked to the stage to take pictures and she told me she wished you were here, I told her you were. I could feel you there. When Grandma was still at her seat crying and she said she wished you were here, I knew you were. I felt you had a hand in this whole thing. You knew Grandma needed some joy, and this was it.
This big day was the first of many big days we celebrated without you physically here. It was different and it was hard, but I knew you saw every minute of it.
I missed you on this trip and I will miss you on many more, but I’m so thankful that I can still think about all the things you would have said and done. All the memories you gave us before help us to feel you with us now.