Today is Tuesday. For the last three years Tuesday has meant one thing to me above all else — a ride down to Clinton to check on Granny in the nursing home. My routine changed earlier this month. November 1st, when I would normally be on my way home from NHC, I was sitting in the family room of Fletcher’s Funeral Home planning Granny’s funeral.
Granny had been in decline for several weeks, but the call on Halloween night at 9:00 was still a surprise. See, I had just called at 8:00 and she was doing well — meaning about the same as she had been for a couple of weeks — resting comfortably in her bed. Then only an hour later, I got the call and she was gone. Just like that. The nurse said Granny went peacefully, just stopped breathing and lost pulse. Just like that.
We buried her next to Papa John. Now he’s got Mama on one side and Granny on the other. I picked her out a white casket with a pink lining. Granny always loved pink. She was wearing her newest gown and I had them wrap her in her favorite blanket. She got cold easily.
The funeral was tiny. The only people attending were Aunt Pearl and Rachel, Granny’s oldest sister and oldest niece, and about five others. I didn’t put Granny’s death in the paper until after the service so no one really knew about the arrangements. I know I didn’t make any friends with that branch of the family, but I had my reasons.
Chief among them was how she lay in the nursing home over five years and no one went to visit her except Mama and me . . . until Mama died . . . and Aunt Pearl and Rachel. Everyone else seemed to have their reasons for not making the half-hour drive to Clinton to see her. I figured if they couldn’t be bothered to see her when she was living and needed company, there wasn’t much point in coming to see her once she was gone and didn’t need anyone anymore.
So, my littlest Granny is gone now. When I was born I had all four grandparents AND four of my eight great-grandparents alive to visit. Granny was the last one. I know how fortunate I am to live to 45 before losing my last grandparent, but it’s still bittersweet knowledge all the same. To have so much love surround you then for it to be all gone is a hard thing to take.
That’s why it’s taken so long into the month for me to write about Granny’s passing. I didn’t want to be maudlin — her memory doesn’t deserve that. All her life, Granny lived for one thing — love. She only wanted to love and be loved in return. Now she’s finally in a place where she’s surrounded by love and I know she’s happy even as I miss her.
Love y’all and keep your feet clean.