I doubt many people will take the time to read this & that’s okay. I’m mostly just writing it for my own personal benefit to get some thoughts out. I lost my granny yesterday, Friday, April 18, 2014. I’ve never lost a close family member or friend, so I’ve really been unsure of how I would handle things.
I always find it interesting when people idealize someone after they’ve passed. My granny wasn’t a saint. She had her many flaws, but she was a good woman & she loved her family. She worked hard her entire life. She was one of the most giving people I’ve ever known. She didn’t have much, but what she did have she was always willing to give away. Granny didn’t go to church every Sunday, but she asked Jesus into her heart years ago, so I have no doubt where she is now. She was never so happy as when she was around one of my cousin’s three kiddos. She may have accidentally called Ella “Ellen” more times than I could count, but in her last days seeing them was one of the only ways to get a smile on her face. I had always dreamed of the day when I could provide her with a great grandbaby & see the same reaction. The pure joy that they brought her, but now that won’t happen & she also won’t see my wedding day, if that ever happens. Ha!
I’ve been trying to think back to great memories of Granny. When I was about 18 months she made me a pillow. She never had much money, but she always did her best to give gifts, and make things for us. I used to cary that pillow everywhere as a child. I couldn’t sleep without it. It should probably be embarrassing to admit, but I still have that pillow to this day. If the house was on fire I’d literally grab my dog & that pillow & run out of the house. It’s one of my most prized possessions. One of my favorite stories my mom tells is how Granny taught me my first cussword. When I was two Mom came home from work & asked what we had done that day, to which I replied, “We’ve been dipping cat shit.” lol Oh, Granny. She wasn’t the best cook there ever was. There were many times she’d bring brownies, cookies, etc. You’d take a big bite & realize “Oh no… Hickory nuts.” She had a hickory nut tree in her back yard & she was the type of woman that never let anything to waste. She also never wasted a fish. We’d take her fishing & she fry them all up and eat on them for days. She’d never pass up a chance to go to Wendy’s to get a Frosty, or to go eat some catfish or fried chicken.
My granny was the epitome of a cat lady. People would dump strays on her doorstep & she’d take them in and add them to the clan. I spent many trips to Walmart hauling 4+ tubs of cat litter (& Poise pads) to the car. I always loved going over when I grew up to play with a new litter of kittens. Our cat that we had for years named Snoopy came from Granny. She let us adopt him, but until he became ours he was thought to be a girl! haha
In the last years her health has steadily declined. She went from being completely independent (other than not being able to drive) to not being able to take care of herself. It was so hard to see the woman who could even mow her own lawn way up into her 70’s, to not being able to hardly get around. It was torture for her to have to be placed in a nursing home. It was torture for us to see how much she hated it. She developed cancer & we knew there wasn’t much time left, but to be honest that didn’t really prepare me. My granny has been near death, and very sick many times, so I kept waiting for her to pull through. I kept hoping that sparkle in her eye would return, but it didn’t. Last Friday I felt like I needed to leave work an hour early so I could make it in time to travel home to visit her. If I had left any later she would’ve already been in bed for the night. When I arrived I asked her how she was doing. The first thing she said to me was, “I’m ready to go home.” She didn’t sound bitter. She wasn’t upset, just matter of fact. It really hurt my heart. I’m not sure which home she meant. I then showed her that I had snuck Blossom in to visit. She sat next to her & gave her kisses. Mom set out Granny some Cheez-Its. Blossom kept crawling over Granny, grabbing a cracker, then walking back to sneakily eat it. I’m so glad I got to see Granny laugh that night. The next day we went back to visit & she was just miserable. She was in pain, and didn’t fell & just wasn’t herself, but I’m so thankful I had those last two days with her.
I don’t believe in coincidence. Everything happens for a reason. I left last weekend knowing Granny wasn’t well, but still didn’t know it was her time quite yet. I saw a preview for “Heaven is for Real” & remembered the book. It’s been sitting on my shelf since shortly after it was released. I have a bad habit of being excited & purchasing a book, but then not reading it for a while. On Wednesday I decided it was time to read the book. I read 2 chapters, then went to bed. On Thursday I read the entire rest of the book. I laughed, I cried, I really enjoyed it. On Friday afternoon I found out my granny passed away. The book was still fresh on my mind. When I heard the news, immediately little Colton’s descriptions of Heaven quickly came to mind. I’ve always known Heaven is a real place, but the fact that I finished the book the day before my granny passed had given me renewed faith & an image in my mind. I wish Granny could be here this Easter for us to celebrate with, but I know that she made it just in time for a front row seat for the biggest celebration ever in Heaven. I serve a risen Savior & I have faith that I will see her again. In the words of Carrie Underwood, “I will see you again. This is not where it ends,” & I have so much peace in knowing that. Until then I know she’ll be fishing in Heaven (her favorite thing in the whole world to do) & walked the streets of gold.
Thank you for anyone who took time to read about my granny. She was a very special woman and I’m so thankful that one day we will be reunited & she’ll no longer be in pain. Until then, I love you and miss you, Granny. Don’t have too much fun without me.