I had a great post running in my head last night as I was falling to sleep but as luck would have it, I can’t remember it! And it wasn’t important really because the day finally came that my Granny passed and went to be with my Popa and the rest of the family.
There are times when we regret choices made, dealing with the past or even buying that dress you knew would be the hit of the party. But I try not to regret things to often because veering off that path sometimes gives you a little surprise.
I made the decision to go to Nashville last weekend and while I was consumed with the what-ifs; I knew that I had made my peace and said goodbye to Granny last week. I had the support of my parents and mom even told me to have fun and enjoy my time there.
As I was driving back into Chattanooga, I had thought about stopping by to see her but after getting updates throughout the weekend, I opted not to. She was not peaceful, comfortable and was out of it. It was as if she was fighting off the inevitable.
I didn’t want to see her like that. I wanted to remember some of the last words that we shared. The ones where she said love you to me first without me saying those words to her. I knew then that it wouldn’t be much longer. The longer she struggled, the more upset I got. She wasn’t living, she wasn’t really even here. That was not her wishes and I urged mom to push my aunts into the direction of giving her the pain meds that would allow her to sleep and be comfortable.
I wasn’t here when Popa passed and while I was beyond close to him, I was relieved that I wasn’t there. I feel the same way today with Granny. I left work to go to her home and just stood there looking at her. She looked at peace.
Of course, in true fashion as mom tried to hug me, I stepped away. It is a self-preserve thing in me. I went to the bathroom where I gathered myself before going back into where Granny’s body laid. I think it isn’t her passing that upsets me the most, it is that now I have to face that I no longer have a grandparent around. I can no longer go there and sneak off to the garage to take in the smells that remind me so much of Popa. The memories, the smells and all of that stuff will be packed up and given out.
While there are things that I would love to have I almost started laughing when I was in the kitchen this afternoon. I started thinking about her cast iron skillets, the metal bowls and a certain knife. Me, the obsessed cook, started thinking about all the cool things she has used her entire life and how much those little things mean to me. Her recipes, what few that she actually used, those are the things that I would love to have.
I am glad that we talked about food and she tried (again) to explain to me proper dressing and how to make fried corn. I remember the smells coming from that kitchen and most were from her. Popa made the heart attack breakfast platter. You know the kind, cook up your sausage or bacon and then do the eggs in the grease. Of course, he also put hot sauce on everything.
Granny was a very young 95, almost 96, young lady when she passed. And I can still remember sitting on the swing with her a couple of years ago and she told me that she wished she had done things my way. Meaning instead of getting married at 16, waiting until she was a little older. I think she got me, that I was on my very own path and while she hated my tattoo, she still loved me. She loved that I branched out, moved away and just did my own thing. Of course she did ask me why I hadn’t moved to NYC yet. Her thinking was if I loved it so much, than go for it.
You only have one life here on earth, so make the most of it. And Granny, try to keep Popa under control. I am sure he has been eating up a storm in the six years since he passed. And tell Maude that should I ever have a little girl, it will be named Emma after her. Out of twelve kids, I could only find one name that could be passed on! Love you.