A long time ago, the telephone replaced letter writing as the main form of personal communication. Then email replaced the phone, and now in my life, blogging has replaced emails. I just have so many people that I want to tell the same stuff to, so I just post it on my blog because I know you all read it. However, there is a downfall to doing that, and that is that none of you ever actually hear from me personally. You don't know how often I think of you, and even though I very often have things I want to say to you or ask you personally, I rarely take the time to actually write that email or make that phone call. I just read your blogs and you read mine, and that's how we stay in touch even though we haven't actually communicated personally in months (or years?!).
But now I'm doubting whether I think that is such a good idea. You see, my Granny passed away last weekend. In fact, Dad got the news while he was riding in the U-Haul with Justin on the way from Kentucky to Missouri. Her health had been failing for quite some time, but it was still unexpected. Distance has kept me from being very close with any of my grandparents, but I certainly could have (and should have) done a better job of writing to them and making sure they knew I loved them and thought about them. Granny didn't read my blog, but my aunt who lived next door to her would print them out and take them over for Granny and Grandpa to read. (Thank you for doing that, Aunt Sara! I've never told you how much I appreciate that.) In fact, while we were in Moldova, Granny would take a magnifying glass and pore over every detail of the pictures I posted. She would ask such interesting questions, and I loved how much she took an interest in what we were doing. I never told her how much that meant to me, and now it's too late.
It's also too late for me to tell her how much I always appreciated the way she and Grandpa adopted my dad and raised him to be such a fine man. I can't even imagine where he might be today if he hadn't been taken in by such a loving family. I know I certainly wouldn't be here!
You always hear about the way people always have so many regrets when somebody they love passes away, and I've never experienced that before until now. I do regret not writing Granny & Grandpa more, or even just emailing Aunt Sara a note and asking her to pass it on to them. Now it's too late for me to say "I love you and appreciate you, Granny."
But the hard truth is that I just don't have the time to write all the emails, send all the cards, and make all the phone calls that I want to make, especially now that I'm a full-time mom. So I can say that I'll try to do better, but I really don't know how much better I can do. So I'm going to keep posting my pictures and stories on my blog, and I'll do as much personal correspondence as I can.
But something I doubt Granny knew is that when I write a blog, I'm not just writing to get it out there in cyberspace. I'm thinking of you all as I write it, just like I thought of her often and knew how much she would enjoy whatever I was posting. I write my blogs just like I would write a personal email. Just instead of sending the same thing to 50 different email addresses, I post it in one place and let you all come here instead. But I'm writing to you, Mom, Dad, & Jess. I'm writing to you, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And you, Charity. And you, Corrie. And you, Kristy. And Jackie and Jill and Karen and Shelly and Nicki and Jessica and the many others who read this. Please know that even if you haven't heard from me in a while, I love you and think of you often. Maybe I'll start signing each blog "Love, Joni" as a way to remind you all that it was meant as a personal note to you.
And if you have someone special that you haven't said "I love you" to in a while, take a few minutes and do it now.