Some of you may have noticed that I haven't posted in almost a week. This doesn't really mesh with my established pattern of blogging and I wanted to, in a small way, clue you guys in to my reason for going M.I.A. Editor's Note: I hesitated a little when the thought occured to me to post on this, but felt as though it may help, in some small way, someone to better deal with a loss of their own. I wouldn't normally post something so personal.
Last Tuesday morning I got a call from my mom. I missed the initial call, but upon listening to the voicemail that she left, I immediately knew that something wasn't right. When I called her back, she told me that my Granny (her mother) had passed away at 6:30 that morning.
I arranged a flight home for Thursday morning and went home to be with my mom.
I haven't had to deal with death very much yet. I've had an aunt (my mom's sister) and granddaddy (my mom's dad) die. But, both happened when I was about ten years old. I have a tough time remembering a lot of it. Only once have I had to deal with the death of someone that I was close to, and that was when Mrs. Bradley, one of our youth ministry advisors in school, died my senior year. This is really the first relative.
To be completely honest, I've had a myriad of emotions so far. As I sat and talked with my mom on Sunday night, it occured to me that I hadn't seen this coming at all. It didn't feel real. It still doesn't.
My Granny Pou has been medically pretty bad off for about four or five years now. Two or three years ago, she even had to have both legs amputated just below her knee due to poor circulation problems. She's been in and out of the hospital for years and has had to stay in an extended care center for the past six years. So, the question begs to be asked; why didn't I see this coming?
My initial hypothesis is that I just wanted to think of my life frozen in a picture. Not me, mind you. I would grow and change and enter into different seasons. But all of my loved ones would remain unchanged, in their frame. Ready to greet me with open loving arms, smiles, and warm memories of times we shared whenever I needed them. I never imagined that there was a limit to the amount of time that I would have with them. And then the phone call...
I'm scared right now. My Grandmama (dad's mom) just got out of the hospital and is now staying in the same extended care facility as my Granny. My great-uncle (the closest thing I've ever had to a grandfather) is turning eighty in two years. The rest of my family aren't getting any younger either. I'm scared to death that I'm going to get another phone call, here in California, telling me that I have to fly home again, to grieve the loss of another loved one. And I'm not ready to do that...
I freaked out at the viewing. It was as if I finally realized that this was all just temporary. That this wasn't really my home. That more viewings will come... So, I did one of the things that I do when I freak out: I started asking questions. (I also crack a lot of jokes. Sometimes, this can be bad. Like at your Granny's viewing.) I asked about my Granny's life. About the life of my Granddaddy. My great-grandparents. Aunts...uncles... anyone who anybody could remember. I just wanted to know.
My Granny Pou was a cool lady. There was so much about her that I didn't know. Like, for instance, the fact that she was married at thirteen years old, had her first child at fourteen, and divorced at fifteen. I think that I'm like her in more ways than I realized. Mom said that a couple days before she passed, she was joking around with the nurses. She was pulling "gets" on them.
One of my friends lost someone very close to him about three or four years ago. I've only heard him describe this person as someone who loved life as much as possible. Someone who embraced every moment and bear-hugged it hard until all the life seeped out of it. That's who I want to be. I want to break the picture frame that I've tried to keep my life in so far. I want to shatter it, freeing the contents to join me as I try my best to get the most from this life. I want to love people so hard, that they never doubt that they are important to me.
Editor's Note: I'm sorry if this has seemed like rambling to you. I guess that I just wanted to type out some thoughts and share them with you. I didn't really bother to take the time to collect them first.
I'm going to miss my Granny Pou. But I'm also going to try my best to move forward, shatter the picture frame, and embrace those that I care about.
Thanks for reading...