I have been thinking about my grandma a lot lately. I think it's because my best friend lost her son after carrying him for close to nine months. The pain I felt when she gave me the news, was comparable to how I felt when I got the news of my grandma's passing. When my grandma died a little over two years ago, I was unable to attend her funeral but wrote the following note that was read at her funeral. Over the last few days I have read it a few times in remembrance of my grandma and also to mourn the loss of my best friend's son. For my Mama
My Mom told me I missed by grandmother’s last breath by only a few minute because she couldn’t get through to me on the phone. When I heard the news I was driving on the highway at over 70 miles per hour, suddenly all the cars started going by me and my eyes glossed over. As I pulled off at the next exit, I realized that the passing of my grandmother was the first real loss of a loved one I had experienced… Over the next few days I thought about what my grandmother brought to my life and what I could learn from her life Looking at her life, I saw true independence, strength and resilience I think about the struggles she would have faced in her early years, and I am humbled, knowing that nothing I have faced so far in life compares. She had nine kids and she was never married, yet she found a way to care for her kids.
As a child, whenever I visited my grandmother, I knew she would offer me food, if you ask my brother, he may say it’s because I looked hungry but I know it was her way of showing me love. Even though I am saddened by her passing, I celebrate her life and give thanks that she didn’t suffer the indignity of living a life dependent on others If I knew one thing about my grandmother, it’s that she liked her own space and she dreaded the idea of being what she considered a burden to others. She wanted her space and even though people thought she was hard headed, they understood her. She cherished the freedom to plant whatever she wanted in her garden. She enjoyed the feeling of independence and accomplishment knowing that after her work in her little patch of land, she could sell her crop and have a few dollars in her pocket.
Who could blame her? Keeping busy gave her life meaning and purpose. She enjoyed her family, especially her grand-kids, even the ones she referred to as “bad pickney.” As you sit in mourning at the passing of my grandma, whether you are family, friend or neighbor, you were all touched by my extraordinary grandmother. Let us celebrate her life with memories of the good times we shared with her. Let us honor her memory by being kind to our living friends, family members and neighbors. Let us tell them and show them love while there is still time.
If we all remember one good thing about her and share it others, even the person next to you at this very moment, she will live on in our hearts and minds for generations to come.