Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In Memory

Two years ago today, my beloved Grandmama passed away.  I mourn the loss of Grandmama each day.  Last night I read the post I did right after she died.  Part of that post is below. This year I was able to read it without crying, but the sadness is still there everyday.  What would have been her 91st birthday was a few weeks ago and I visited her grave.  I cried then.  I couldn't help myself. Though she is now gone, she will forever live in my heart. 

In January 1978, when I was six weeks old, my mother had to return to work.  At the time, Mama was a public home health nurse.  From that point on, I spent every week day with Grandmama, who kept me for Mama.  When I started school, I spent every Friday night with Grandmama, and we ate supper with her every Wednesday night.  During the summers, I spent the days with Grandmama again.  My sister was also always there with us, but in the twenty-one months before I was born, my sister was with the nanny who had helped raise Mama.

After Grandmama retired from working in the factories, she began what would be her daily routine until my Grandfather's death in 2001.  She woke up at dawn each morning and made a pot of coffee, then she began making breakfast. Breakfast could be as simple as homemade buttermilk biscuits and sausage or as complex as biscuits, sausage, gravy, eggs, and grits.  No matter, it was always a hearty breakfast.  While Grandaddy was still working, she also packed his lunch each day.  When breakfast was over, she cleaned up and did one of a few things. If it was Monday, she did her laundry for the week.  If it was the summer, she spent the cool hours of the morning up in the fields picking peas, butter beans, corn, okra, squash, or whatever else they were growing that year.  When she came back from the field, she would start dinner.  When dinner was finished and eaten, she cleaned up and sat to watch her soap operas.  During her "stories," she often crocheted.  About the middle of the afternoon, she started cooking supper, which was the most elaborate meal of the day.  She was a true southern country cook, and the best I have ever known.  (I'm a good cook, I learned from her, but I'm a pale imitation.). After supper, she cleaned up, and then finally had some time to rest.  On Friday nights when we spent the night with her, after supper was time for Dallas and Falcon Crest.

Though she had her faults at times in her life, she was a good Christian woman.  Before she became to sick to do so, she went to church every Sunday.  She told me once that though she was raised and originally baptized a Baptist, when she was baptized into the Church of Christ, she knew she had found God and the right church.  Incidentally, I have always felt the same way.

She was always proud of her grandchildren, but she and I had a special bond. That is what makes this so very hard.  On her 89th birthday, she was so proud to have all of her family with her.  She was still in relatively good health for an 89 year old woman with COPD.  She especially loved her great-granddaughter, my precious little niece.  She would have been overjoyed with her great-grandson who was born last week.  Grandmama taught me patience, love, duty, and how to cook.

July is a tough month for our family.  July is the month that both my granddaddy and grandmama died.  Also, July 4th was my granddaddy's favorite holiday.  All of his side of the family would gather for a huge barbecue and fireworks.  He lived for the entire family to come from as far south as Florida and as far north as Minnesota for that final Fourth of July.  Though he was suffering from an aggressive cancer that destroyed his body and he couldn't do the cooking that year, he was able to have a little bit of barbecue and baked beans.  Then he died later that month.  The Fourth of July has never been the same.  Grandmama never again hosted a barbecue, though my daddy continued the tradition at their house.  So July is a tough time of year for my family, but now we do have something to rejoice: a new baby boy has been born.  We can now celebrate each July.  We lost two tremendous people in this month, but gained a new one nearly a week ago.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18 KJV)


silvereagle said...

This is written from the heart!!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet tribute to your grandmama and granddaddy. There is joy in knowing that they are together now. What a special blessing to have had such a strong relationship with your grandmama and to have learned so much from her. Obviously she was an amazing woman because she helped raise an amazing, caring, sweet, generous and talented man who she would continue to be very proud of today.

Coop said...

A very moving tribute, Joe.

naturgesetz said...

You are blessed to have all those memories. You are even more blessed to have those people as part of your life.

Amanda said...

That was a sweet and wonderful post. I'm glad that July has given you a reason to celebrate again with the birth of your nephew. And your Grandmama sounds like she was a wonderfully awesome and loving person. :)

Anonymous said...

A wonderful tribute to a wonderful family! I know it's tough, Joe. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Peace <3