I was little. Too little to be thinking about losing someone I loved as much as anything in the world.

Kids are busy, you see.

I was in school, I had friends, friends to play with, friends to laugh with, friends to maybe every once in a while get into a little trouble with. I had places to go!

And one of those places was Grandma's. Almost a second home, a safe place, a comfortable place. It might be after school, it could be on a Saturday, it may well be an overnight stay. But maybe most important, and something I didn't even think about at the time, it was always there. She was always there.

And then she wasn't. Grandma wasn't there.

I was too little. And this was too much.

I wouldn't be going to Grandma's after school tomorrow? She wouldn't be at my game, my concert, my play? But she was always at my game, my concert, my play.

Always.

I didn't understand. And I knew I wouldn't get over it. And I didn't get over it.

But I got through it. And somewhere along the way, I can't say exactly when, but somewhere and at some point, I realized something and I smiled.

Grandma didn't really leave.

All these years later she's still here. Maybe you can't see her, but I sure can. And she's full of life, right here in my heart. There she is in the kitchen letting me have extra candy as long as I didn't tell mom. There she sits watching my game, not really knowing what's going on, but cheering anyway. And she's right over there listening to me sing with my friends and just knowing that I'm singing the best.

And there she is, telling me it'll be alright.

And of course, again Grandma was right. It will be alright. Oh, it wasn't alright when it happened, when I thought she had left for good. In fact, it was awful, it was heartbreaking. But then something wonderful happened.

She mended my broken heart, and she's there still, to this day, all those years later. And she'll be there forever.

You may not be able to see her, but I do. She's smiling now. And so am I.