Twenty years. Twenty *years*.
It is almost impossible to believe. She's been gone for half my lifetime. How is it possible to still miss somebody so much after two decades of separation?
But love isn't measured by time. Love is forever, and she was unconditional love. If ever there was such a thing as a guardian angel, she was mine while she was on this earth, and she is mine now that she no longer is. She is always with me.
Every year, on my birthday (which is in only a couple of weeks' time), I received a bouquet of red gladioli from her - every year that we were actually on the same continent, which wasn't always a given. My birthday and her and the red gladioli - it's an indissoluble memory, these things go together, forever. This is why, on the rare occasions that I get these days to go and visit her grave, if they are remotely in season I will take her a bunch of scarlet gladioli. Just to tell us both that I remember. That I will always remember.
The last time I was able to do this was five years ago. For five years if people brought flowers to her graveside they were other flowers, from other people. But even though I cannot be there now, you are always with me, my grandnother, my beloved angel. Today, in my heart, the red gladioli are in bloom for you.
I miss you. I always will.