RIP Grandma

Have you ever lost someone you were close to? Either a boyfriend or girlfriend that broke up with you or a friend, family member or even class mate that has moved far away or even died?

I've experienced that feeling. My best friend moved to South Carolina last summer and every one misses him. We still talk, but it's not the same as seeming him every day in school and being close again. I wasn't sure what was going on at my grandpa's funeral. I understood what was going on and that he wasn't coming back, but I guess then I wasn't feeling the impact as hard. I was young and innocent and not quite understanding what I should be going through.

So why wasn't this time different? Why didn't I cry like everyone else? Does that make us care less if we don't cry at someone's death bed? Does that make us a horrible person because we just can't cry in public or receive affection from others without denying it? As you get older don't you explore new emotions and figure out when they are supposed to be used for what situation? By the time you're seventeen aren't you supposed to be able to express you self in front of others with out feeling self centered?

My Great Grandma died Wednesday May 14th at 2:45. My birthday was on Tuesday and everyone was happy and I wasn't feeling to well. I had a splitting headache that wouldn't go away. I wanted to take Ibuprofen, but then I felt that I was being weak and that I couldn't take a simple headache. When I got home I ended up taking two because my birthday party with my dad was that night and I needed to get less crabby. Wednesday I felt the same, but more near the end of the day. I thought it was just because the lights in the school were taking a toll on my eyes and the loud voices all day and being tired. But the headache increased and I felt really bad. Getting some water didn't help and I just wanted to curl up and sleep. Five minutes after school got out I was at home on my computer typing out a new update to 12 Bullets To The Head. My headache was gone and I felt great again, but my dad came in and told me that mom was in the kitchen and that I needed to see her. I knew immediately what happened. Grandma had been in the hospital because of lack of oxygen and she was going downhill rapidly since.

Of course they cried and I just stood there. I guess it was shock. But I didn't want to believe it. How could she just.. be gone? She couldn't go home yet! She couldn't have left right after my birthday!

Mom asked if we wanted to go up to her house on the hill. I didn't realize her body would still be there. It didn't matter though. In fact it was good because I got to see her one last time before she was dolled up and all. She was the real Ethel in my eyes then, the Mother, Grand Mother, Great-Grandmother and Great-Great Grandmother that cared for all the generations of our family. She's lived through many years and seen more than an average American in her time. She was the exhausted woman that was finally letting go and going home.

Birds seemed to know. They gathered at the bird feeder out her window as if to pay their last respects to their guardian over the last years.
But my question to you... where did you go? Heaven is the most deserving place for you, but does it exist? Can it be real? Can nonbelievers be there too? I wondered if you were there, in that house, while we sat and morned. Were you lingering in the air, waiting for the gates to open and invite you in after you've had one last look at you're loved ones? Are you an angel in the sky, watching down on us all with a smile now that the pains gone? I hope so. Angels fly with the birds.

I keep going over the last thing I said to you Sunday. I'm glad I said it, but I wish I would have said more. If I would have know that was going to be the last time you talked to me, I would have said plenty more. I would have talked you're ear off before we left to take Grandma out.

"Happy Mothers Day, Great Grandma."

And I still remember how you managed to thank me. I smiled. I know you didn't see because I was out of the room by then, but I did. I had to wish you a good one before I left. You've taught me a lot over the years. We didn't see each other as we would have liked during the school year, but the summers were a blast. I loved spending warm days at you're house and watching the birds with you. Maybe playing a game or two of Airplane Buncle.

I miss that. I won't be able to eat chicken soup on toast, play a game of Airplane Buncle or Dominoes, think of Monday Wash Day, spend a New Years without our late night tea and cookies without thinking of you. Every time I crack my knuckles I'll think of the times I got told off because you didn't want me to get Arthritis. Every time I spin in a chair I'll stop myself so that I don't make you queasy. I'll still look for a tea cup just for you; not too heavy and with a big handle. And I'll remember that there's no butter on you're slices of toast.

I remember the days when you would go outside. The days when the warm sun was shinning down on us as you sat in that metal chair and watched Mel and I play. We were young, innocent and playful then. I'll remember picking pears off you're trees and bringing then in for you to see by the five gallon buckets. I'll remember you watching Mel and I shoot arrows with our bows while Grandma watched over us. I'll remember playing with that new Britney Spears Barbie in you're living room, the smell from the hair spray and perfume I put on her and the lip gloss I tried to apply. I'll remember you watching and only looking away when a bird caught you're eye.

But most of all, I'll remember the way you laughed and smiled. The way you're shoulders would come up as you chuckled and a smile would part you're face. You seemed so happy to be there with us talking and visiting as if we did it every day.

Do you remember the time Mel shot a pear through the middle with her arrow? Remember us laughing at the chance of that happening and saving that arrow to show our mom. I remember you shaking your head and smiling at Mel proudly holding the speared pear. Do you remember us sleeping on the living room floor and waking up to share a bowl or Raisin Bran with you? Remember the tea and cookies, sometimes pie Grandma made after late games of Buncle that left us yawning? Remember when I was a baby? Remember when you held me at my parents wedding, my first birthday? I wish I did. I wish I could find that picture of us together.

I'm glad you got to see another Mothers Day before you're time was up. I'm glad you were able to pull through my birthday even if I couldn't see you. I'm glad you went peacefully as if you drifted off to sleep. I'm glad the pain's gone and that you can be home again.

You have inspired me so much. And I dedicate this to you, Ethel Robinson. This memory filled document written in such haste that it's almost undeserving. But it's real. It's true emotion splayed out for you, one of the Angels up in the sky.

The funeral was today. Everyone was crying and I felt bad for not crying. The preacher kept saying that it was a true love connection between everyone for the loss of her because we had a lot of love in our family and a strong connection to 'The Lord Above' as he put it. Yeah, I felt like he was singling me out.

But my name was said in the thing he was saying (I can't remember the name of it). He was reading off the list of what she was. I ALMOST cried at that because the way he said it. Pretty much it made me miss her more and feel bad for her Great-Great Grandchildren that won't remember her when they get older. And I feel so special because I'm one of the 14 Grand-Children that got to know her and cherish my time with her. The hardest thing is going to be going to her house and NOT seeing her in her chair or sleeping on her day bed like usual. Not seeing her raise her shoulders as she laughs or points a pretty bird out to me.

Ethel Robinson
Loving mother, Grandma, Great Grandma, Great-Great Grandma and person.
You're memory WILL carry on.
Posted on May 17th, 2008 at 11:40pm


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