Everyone has a hero. It could be superman, batman, wonder woman, or even an athlete. My hero was a pocket-sized redhead who loved with her whole heart. Things weren't always going great for me in my life. My escape was a couple of miles away, where the green grass was soft under your bare feet, and the sun was hot on your skin.
The white modular home in the middle of a country road held the beautiful lives of my grandparents. Grandpa, 6'0" strong and white hair, and Grandma, Short, loving, and red-headed, tilled their garden, getting ready to plant their yearly vegetables.
Grandma would have her sunhat on, planting seeds for peppers, beans, tomatoes, corn stalks, and pumpkins. The grass was cut perfectly, with lines going up and down the yard in dark green and light green shades.
Birds would be swooping through the air, eating the bugs that flew between them. Grasshoppers hopping from your shadow to safety. And if you're lucky, the occasional deer wading the soybeans.
We weren't the only ones enjoying the beautiful day. Trigger the dog would be sun-bathing on the back porch. Hugs from my grandparents made the day even more sunny and beautiful. We would sit in the garage with the door open to let the sun and breeze in, just talking about nothing for the longest time. Just enjoying each other's company.
If friends ever came up the driveway to join in on the peacefulness, Grandma would always be the first to greet them with a hug. She would laugh, tease, even prank. She would read her bible and watch her lifetime movies until bedtime.
After she went to sleep, Us kids would sneak outside and lay on the grass. Staring up into the night sky, we could see millions of stars. We would watch as planes would fly from the west to Detroit Airport. We'd stay up all hours and sleep well into the early afternoon, then enjoy another beautiful day.
But unexpectedly, rainy days started to come. Grandma was getting sick. She was having a hard time breathing. In the year 2016, Grandma was rushed to the emergency room three times. We thought she'd be strong enough to beat it, but then the storm came. She went cold blue, one too many times. We knew we had to let her go.
I was living with my grandparents at the time. She was our strength in our time of need, but now she was the one who needed us. She was suffering. We surrounded her hospital bed, said our goodbyes. I stayed right by her. My forehead on hers. We pulled the plug, and in a few moments, her heart monitor zeroed out. My Grandmother went to be in a more beautiful place.
After she passed, my grandfather told my uncle, "Well, let's go take care of the house." I beat them back. I walked into the empty house and broke down. I knew from that moment on; it would never be the same.
Over time, healing came. We kept Grandma's ashes on the mantle. One day, we would honor her wishes. It would be to place her under the tree out back with her youngest son's ashes.
In the summer of quarantine 2020, the family got together for memorial day. This is the first time we all were together since the loss of our beautiful matriarch. We decided on that day to lay her to rest next to her son. The family gathered around the small tree, a few more present than before. We watched as they placed the small box into the dirt. The same dirt she tilled, years ago.
Now when you come up the driveway of the small country home, Grandpa will greet you. You walk up the back sidewalk, look to your left. You will see two small stones under a tree. Go ahead and give a smile as they rest peacefully.