I am seldom at a loss for words.
That is one of the things that my maternal grandmother and I had in common.
She had a heart attack in April and ended up in the ICU at a hospital. As she lay in a hospital bed surrounded by tubes and contraptions designed to save her life, I could only think of hearing her voice again.
So I prayed about it. I knew when she showed no signs of improvement, that my chances of having my wish fulfilled were pretty slim.
I prayed anyway.
Over the years, she often told me that “Granny is not going to be here forever” but I didn't listen to her.
Maybe it was because she would say this during times of fun and laughter — times when we gathered around to see what she bought on her latest shopping trip. She especially seemed to remind me of her mortality when she had blessed me and the family in some way, like the days we met to eat her good cooking. She wanted me to know that she wouldn't be around to extend such blessings forever.
Like a child, I never let myself really think about what she was saying. Oh, I heard the words but I promptly put them out of my mind.
I stood at her hospital bed side and I talked to her but she never talked to me again. Three days after she was taken off life support, she drifted off as if to sleep. I looked for her chest to rise and fall with her next breath and when it didn't, I knew that she was gone.
I thought about my prayer and in my heart, I knew the Lord had answered it.
He reminded me that my Granny and I had been talking together for 40-plus years. She had been a steady presence throughout my life — there to comfort me, to feed me, to chastise me and to pray for me.
In the weeks before her death, we spent a lot of time together, mostly just talking.
One day, she spoke about the night I was born and shared some funny details that she had never talked about before.
Another day, she told me she was proud of how I had raised my children. And on yet another day, she said she wanted me to know how special I was.
The day before she was stricken, she called me and said she didn't think she would live to see another day but that she was glad to be alive. That day, we watched some of her favorite television shows, discussed her penchant for designer clothes and talked about so many different topics that an outsider would have thought that we didn't see each other often — that maybe we thought we wouldn't ever talk again.
I was reminded of those weeks and that day in particular after Granny died.
My mother said I should look at them as a gift — Granny's gift — so that's what I will concentrate on on Sunday, my first Mother's Day with out my “grand” mother — because she was truly grand, let me tell you.
Memories of a lifetime of conversations will sustain me until she and I meet again one day.
Granny and I had been talking together for 40-plus years. She had been a steady presence throughout my life — there to comfort me, to feed me, to chastise me and to pray for me.”