I sit here feeling a host of mixed emotions. I’m tired, sad, heavy hearted, thankful, in awe of life, etc…grieving. The past week we’ve all sat on edge wondering when her time would come. We each took turns sitting with her, sharing meals as a family, and comforting her and each other. Some family took long turns-gave up sleep to care for her around the clock. Me? I was in between full time work, doctors appointments that we’ve waited for months to get, and still keeping my little family going at the same time. I was blessed to go when I could-I knew my grandmother wanted me to take care of her great grandbabies first.
I had talked to my dad earlier in the morning. We knew we were down to hours. I knew I still had to take care of things here so said I would come over in a bit. We hastily worked to get what had to be done finished. Larry & I were also juggling our emotions along with making sure we were helping the kids process what was happening. The phone rang and it was a quick family meeting-we were not going to force the kids to go but gave each a choice-that also meant Larry would have to stay behind. Emily & I sprang to the car. We were going down the I95 ramp but it was too late-traffic was stopped. I wasn’t so upset that I would not make it for the final breath in as much as I just didn’t want to be trapped in traffic. I called Larry, asked him to pray, and hung up the phone. No sooner, cars started moving and when we got to the exit ramp-the road was clear for miles.
I had also been trying to get a hold of my mother. Even though she and dad had divorced decades ago-my mother stayed close with the family. She had been best friends with my Aunt Rita since high school. The closeness is still a testimony to how my Grandmother impacted so many lives. Granny was a second mother to my mom from the time she was a teenager on throughout her life. The problem-I can’t reach Mom.
Em & I made it. We walked through the door & the first one to meet me-Mom:) Whew-“God is good”I think to myself quickly yet rush past her to Granny’s room. Her bed is encircled by family. They part to allow me to get to my dad who is standing by Granny’s head. “She just past but she can still hear you”. I’m alright with her going. I had the sweetest chance to kiss her cheek and whisper “I love you” one more time.
The room has the greatest sense of peace. I take a moment to glance around. The wall has wonderful family pictures spanning generations. I look around at everyone in the room. “When you have to go, this is the way to do it-surrounded by those who love you dearly.” Next thing I know we each have a turn to say what we’re thankful for in that moment. The tears are little as there is more of a sense of awe. To think this was just a southern grown girl, who has had a huge impact on many many lives. She was our anchor-the one person who stayed consistent in our life. Growing up and still to this day-she’s has had all kinds of people stop by just to check on her-former bus riders (she drove a schoolbus when I was little), former teenagers (some in their 60’s now)that used to hang out at her house, etc. Fourth of July was always a reunion and she was known to many as “Mom” or “Granny” (Ethel for one person:) ).
Her real name: Inez Marguerite. Alright-that is how I spell Marguerite-at least on Emily’s birth certificate. Both my cousin and I named our daughters in tribute to my grandmother 🙂 I think we both saw a strong woman and a legacy we wanted to continue. That is a sweet treasure-even though Granny is gone from this life-she continues to live in our children, our memories and our heart. That is the sweetest treasure of all!! Thank you Granny. I LOVE YOU!!!