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Has this ever happened to you?

December 14, 2013

First a warning: Yes, that’s a casket. No, you can’t see the body. I’m sorry if this freaks you out. (The casket bit, not the lack of a body.)

Who IS that woman?

Who IS that woman?

I was looking through the photos on my computer this morning, just scrolling down, when I saw this one. I knew where the picture was from, but I couldn’t figure out who that woman was in the t-shirt and sweater. I stared at it and then kept coming back to it for a good five minutes before I realized that it was me! Has this ever happened to you? Have you seen a picture of yourself you didn’t recognize? Oops.

A little backstory because my Mee Maw would never want you to think that I regularly attend funerals in sweaters and jeans!:

My plane landed at LAX at 8pm. Like everybody else I powered up my phone as soon as our wheels touched down. I had multiple messages from my mom and her boyfriend. My grandmother had fallen and I would need to fly to Memphis the next morning. In retrospect I’m thankful that I’d just flown 13 hours. I think exhaustion shielded me from a measure of panic and grief I would definitely have felt had I been sitting on my couch when I got the call.

I spent the night washing clothes, packed a small bag and headed back tot he airport with my sister in the morning. We thought we would check in, say hi, see that everything was fine, and head back to L.A. in a couple of days.

Instead nothing was fine. My opinionated, sourpuss, beautiful grandmother, who never let anyone see her without her “face”on, was laying in a hospital bed in the middle of the den. Her yellow hair was slicked back, her eyes closed, and she looked even tinier than usual. She was awake. I told her I loved her. She told me she loved me too. And then my sister brought in Pip. Remember Pip?

That woman sat right up in that bed, smiled the biggest smile, stuck her arms out to the side and, like nothing was wrong, shouted, “Pipsqueak!!”.  Ah the power of a tiny dachshund. Then she laid back down. Without ever speaking or sitting up again she died 4 days later. From fall to finish it was only 6 days.

So now you see. I hadn’t planned on a funeral. Even with her emphysema, heavy drinking, and constant smoking I thought she’d outlive us all. Silly, I know. That theory may also have been supported by the fact that it was  only in the last 6 years of her life that we’d been close. She was never one for kids. Or teenagers. Or people in their twenties, apparently. I guess I just figured I had more time.

Lesson learned.

*This is not the woman whose photo I posted yesterday. That was my grandma. She was like a mother to me and one day I’ll write and write and write about her. When I can do it without crying.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 15, 2013 2:01 pm

    So Sorry for your loss 😦 , That must have been Difficult, Death is Difficult

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