CONTENT WARNING: DEATH OF A LOVED ONE IS DISCUSSED.
My grandmother passed away today. My parents and I didn’t know until we found her in her room.
She was 85, had elderly ailments, and often did not feel all that well. She was sad and frustrated that her body could not do what she expected of it all the time. She’d gotten to where she preferred to walk holding on to someone because she wobbled and stumbled.
“I’m drunk as a Bessie-bug,” she’d say sometimes, before the ‘sometimes’ she’d need extra stabilization became ‘more-often-than-nots’. I have no idea what a ‘Bessie-bug’ is or why it’d be drunk. Apparently, they were.
She’d bump her arm and bruise quickly, darkly, then talk about how her aches and pain were “sore as a risin’.” I asked my dad about this one and he said a ‘risin’’ was a boil.
We didn’t expect her to leave us this soon. I had planned for her to be a flower girl in my wedding (her name is Daisy and she loves flowers, especially her namesake and pansies which she called ‘monkey-faces’). She didn’t know because I’m not even engaged yet.
I wish I’d told her.
I’ve written about her before. She’s in my story about our cats, the story about the bat, and in the story about all the animals that pass through the yard.
Our cats - her cats, really - were waiting on her this morning. She always gets up around seven in the morning to feed them.
She wasn’t up by then, and that’s how my dad knew something was wrong.
She’d be pleased, though. My uncle fed them. There’s plenty of food Mawmaw had fixed for them yesterday to go around.
Her love of tending to things - animals, plants, people - ensured she always had an abundance of goodies ready to be given away.
Unless you were not one of her cats and came to “eat up all the food.” Then she’d stomp and clap and yell at those strange cats to “go on, you devil, you!” Cat food has gotten expensive, you see, and she wanted to make sure her cats were never hungry.
She never wanted anyone to be hungry. I’m in my later twenties, and she made it her mission I always had something to eat.
Chocolate, however, was Mawmaw’s weakness. She loved chocolate. Klondike bars. Butterfingers. Hershey’s. But, because she had a pacemaker and was advised by doctors to not have caffeine, she really wasn’t supposed to have chocolate. She didn’t care too much that she couldn’t have coffee, but chocolate...
We’d have to remind her that she couldn’t just eat all the chocolate she wanted.
And while she loved cats and chocolate hummingbirds where her favorite things.
We have a fairly large population of hummingbirds at the house. She’d sit outside on the porch in one of our rocking chairs, flyswatter on one armrest and a bottle of water in hand, to watch them take little sips from the hummingbird feeder and territorially zip after each other. Once, she’d worn a red shirt and a hummingbird scared her by how close it got to her while checking out whether she was a flower or not.
She has a collection of glass hummingbirds. I contributed to the collection nearly every time I took a vacation. She was always so overjoyed, nearly to tears even, when she got a new one to add (first across the top of her dresser and then in a little corner shelf).
But most of all, she loved people. She loved her family most of all, of course, which I thankfully am apart of. She was a good mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She doted on me, which I didn’t always appreciate. She was a worrier, fretful, and she’d tell me nearly every time I left the house, “Please be careful.” But there were other times where she acted like I was just extraordinarily pretty when I’d put some outfits together for church or work. “You’re beautiful, girl,” she’d say.
And she was this way with all her family. But she also cared deeply for her friends, surprising many with hand-embroidered gifts, and loved every baby she ever saw.
However, she was also a daughter who missed her mother. I overheard her talking on the phone to one of her sisters a few months ago. She told her she just really wanted a hug from her mama. I hope she’s gotten the warmest hug from her mama.
She was a wonderful grandmother to me, and I’d like to share more about her with you. I only wish she was still here to help dictate my words.
About the Creator
Hello! I'm mostly a writer of fiction and poetry that tend to involve nature, family, and the idea of growth at the moment. Otherwise, I'm a reader, crafter, and full-time procrastinator!
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!