Farewell

Yesterday we bid farewell to the body of my grandmother, almost five years to the day that we buried my grandfather. We will miss her so!

South Louisiana makes me think of stringy Spanish moss, sucking on sugar cane in the fields, miserably muggy weather, and, most of all, Gran and Gramps house and all the family memories.

I remember the creak of their front door, the funny brick linoleum floor, the sweet and distinctive smell of their home, and running my fingers along the wooden bars that led into their kitchen. There are countless memories stored up in my brain but also moments that have, over time and without my knowing, created and shaped the person I am today.

Gran spoke kindly, listened well, cooked the best food (but made us Velveeta macaroni and cheese for us cousins), gave thoughtful gifts, let us eat ice cream for breakfast, taught me math, spurred me on to cook and read, played hours of Mancala with me, watched our swim meets, wrangled and loved her kids and grandkids (then great-grandkids!), and loved Jesus Christ.

She aged with grace and was so patient in her suffering, whether it was her declining health, being wheelchair-bound, or having to stay in her room during lockdown.

After moving away to Spain, my contact with her became sparse, but we reconnected during lockdown last year when I found out I could videocall her. We spoke everyday and read a book aloud together. I’m thanking technology and corona for those special, daily phone calls!

At the end of one of my last conversations with her a couple of weeks ago, I said “I love you.” It’s the one thing you want someone to be sure of in those final days. And she said “I know.” ❤️

This week there has been sorrow mixed with rejoicing — sorrow for the hole that her departure leaves in our hearts but rejoicing over the gift that she was to this family and the new life she now has.

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