As I stand over the recycling bin sorting the junk from the real mail, I see the envelope.
It is the size of a Christmas Card.
There are Unicef stickers all over it.
And the chicken-scratch scrawl of an elderly hand, in red ink.
Before I get to the kitchen, where lies my letter opener, I have ripped the envelope open.
I want so badly to read what she's written, even if it isn't very much.
Last year, she had to have a helper write her cards for her - this year she's done them herself, even before I've mailed her mine. She writes that she wishes us all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. She writes a little extra for the kids, telling them she hopes that Santa brings them all that they want.
I know this must've taken a long time to write. The words do not come as easily anymore.
But receiving this card each year from my Grandmother's best friend reminds me how much I miss her. As the tears form and I try desperately to blink them away, I am flooded with her memory, her being and her grace.
The sweater that hangs in my closet calls my name and all I want to do is bury my face in it, close my eyes and tell myself that it still smells like her, fifteen years later.
I can't admit that it could possibly be all in my head.
Fifteen years, fifteen Christmases. A wedding. Three births.
So many memories.
People say that it gets better, as time goes by, but the hole in my heart tells another story.