Well hello there all! Nice to be back in my little neck of the woods here. I’ve done a bit of a disappearing act the last few months or so and leading up to this so called act I know I have not been very present. Let’s just say life throws you curve balls every now and then. At times when these curve balls are thrown in my direction, I tend to close up. I’m a little less present and/or any extra side interests or extracurricular activities get put on the back burner and I just stick to what is mandatory for my everyday life. Though more recently I think things have started looking up and the uphill walk is getting a little easier. I do miss writing and communicating in the ‘blog world’ so I will work on getting back into the regular swing of things.
We will be heading back to North Carolina this weekend. It is a lot sooner than we would usually be heading back, though I am not complaining. If you read my last post you know that my Grandmother passed away this past May. Glenn, Hunter and I will be driving up with the dogs a few days early to work on preparing the house for the rest of the family who will be headed up a couple of days after us. We will be having a memorial for her and a little family reunion for ourselves. I look forward to sharing our house with my parents and our family since they have not been to see it yet. There will be plenty of barbecuing, four wheeling, afternoon swims in the lake and going on walks around the property as well as falling asleep to the chirping of katydids outside.
This post isn’t really a letter but memories I have. In a weird way, my Grandmother’s passing hasn’t quite hit me yet. It won’t feel ‘real’ until I get up there and know that it’s not to visit her any longer. That will be hard to digest. Growing up I referred to my grandmother many times as my favorite person in the world. She was different from most adults I was close with and even other family members. Grandma was always ‘home’ to me even though I only got to see her a few times every year. Her hands and her eyes will always stand out in my mind most. She had the bluest eyes, as blue a sunshine summer filled cloudless sky and she had the softest and most delicate hands though I knew they were stronger than most. I would sit in front of her at the dining room table mesmerized watching her shuffle through a deck of cards for hours with her long slender fingers. Her long nails would put me to sleep instantly after I’d ask her softly scratch my back. She had a way about maneuvering through a room and would catch the eyes of all who was around her and it wasn’t just because she was the tallest woman I had ever known standing at 6ft tall. She was history to me and was filled with many stories to share.
I can’t recall what my first memory of my grandmother was but I can recall my last. I am so grateful that I was able to see her shortly before she passed. On our last day visiting her I walked into her room and she breathed, “There’s my energy”. She was tired and she was ready but I was her energy and she had always been mine.
Grandma and Grandpa had bought a townhouse not too far from our house in Miami when I was a little girl and they would come down to spend the cooler part of the year with us. I remember staying with them from time to time, whether it was the time I had chicken pox and couldn’t be near my baby sister or when I had just wanted to spend the night with my grandparents. We’d watch Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and then I’d stay up late with Grandma watching Murder She Wrote. Grandma would make a bed for me on the floor on her side of the bed and I was ‘home’.
The house I lived in with my family had been completely demolished after a little-known storm called Andrew that came through in the summer of 1992. It was one month shy of mine and my sisters birthdays. I was turning 10 and she was turning 2. My mother, all worked up and worried about having a baby and a young kid running around with glass, nails, debris and everything you could ever imagine around us and not a permanent bed to sleep in, called up my grandma asking if she would come get us and take us away from the hell we were living in until they could figure out just what they were going to do. Without a second thought my grandma and my aunt Robin drove down and scooped us up and away from our eradicated town. I had never spent any time away from my parents before besides your regular sleepovers and driving away, not knowing how long we would be away for, I was beyond homesick. Grandma had set up rooms for us in her array of guest rooms downstairs and somehow on the first night Kelci and I ended up on sheets made up to resemble a bed on Grandma and Grandpa’s bedroom floor on Grandma’s side of the bed. I held Grandma’s hand and fell fast asleep. I was ‘home’.
On this trip, I shared a few first times with my grandmother. She took me to see the President of the United States and First Lady which I don’t quite remember why they were visiting Hendersonville but it was my first time seeing anyone “famous” so I got a real hoot out of it and when it was finally time to come back home Kelci and I had our first plane ride with Grandma. It was quite surreal flying back after the sun had set and the moon was high in the sky. Looking out the window I watching the lights of Broward and North Dade County fade to pitch darkness and nothingness where our house resided. But we had our new motorhome and a working generator and I got to sleep up high above the driver and passenger seat so I was a happy camper. Grandma left the very next morning and I don’t blame her. I wouldn’t want to stay there any longer than I would have to either.
Small things here and there will always trigger memories of my grandmother. I will never be able to eat a blueberry muffin or drink a strawberry milkshake without thinking of her. Commercials on tv showing old reruns of I Love Lucy with Lucille Ball always reminds me of her and her acting days. I briefly showed an interest in acting around middle school age and Grandma made me a complete scrapbook of her acting days with newspaper clipping, playbills, tickets and all. I cherished this book then as much as I cherish it now. It was on full display in the first apartment I lived in and will be again in the first house we own.
For my grandmother’s 75th birthday, 16 years ago, my mother bought two gold best friends necklaces. Placed together they read, ‘May the lord watch between me and thee while we are absent from one another’. Since that day they have both always worn their necklaces and I was told that one day one of those necklaces would be mine. Now I have the honor of wearing my grandmother’s necklace and one day the other will be passed down to Kelci.
No questions asked, my grandmother was the matriarch of our family and one of the strongest and smartest women I have ever known and I was beyond proud to be her granddaughter. I know now that she is looking down on us and watching over us and I will always live my life doing what I know will make her proud and that is by being the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend that I could be to all my loved ones around me.