|Trying to keep the faith|
It's getting close to the day...the one year mark since Memaw died. The picture above was taken in 2003, when she could still walk and was less confused than she later became.
Oh, I loved my Memaw. She looks so sweet in this picture, and let me tell you, looks are NOT deceiving, in this case. She was the nicest, most loving, and least judgmental person I ever knew. She accepted me no matter how well or how badly I behaved. She provided support and encouragement for the lost soul I've always felt like I was.
I last saw her the day before she died. My friend Stacy called me and told me Memaw had been sent to the hospital with suspicion of a stroke. It was against the rules, but I'm glad she did it. I went up there and sat with her til Mama got there. Then, I had to go home and get some sleep. I told Mama that listening to Memaw breathe was very similar to listening to Nanny breathe just before Nanny died.
The next morning, Mama called me. She said, "You remember how you said Mama's breathing was a lot like Nanny's? You were right."
I yelled, "Fuuuuuuck!", which was not exactly an ideal reaction, but it hit me like a ton of bricks, and that's what came out of my mouth. I got hysterical, and Stacy came to get me and take me up to the hospital.
Memaw was still warm to the touch when I got there. She had a slight smile on her face, and I leaned down and kissed her. I couldn't believe this remarkable woman was no longer with us. Yes, she had lived a really long time....she was 89 years old...but you know how it is - you never really believe parents and grandparents will die, in your heart. I knew it in my mind, but I couldn't tell my heart it was a natural part of life.
Mama was depressed, of course. She later told me that what bothered her the most was that Memaw was alone when she died. That didn't bother me. Know why?
When I used to tell her she could never die, when I was little, she'd always say the same thing...
"I'll never die as long as I can see you living!"
She didn't see us living when she died.
So she kept that promise.