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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

 
I've lived a little bit of life. I've had some hurt. A lot of hurt, it feels like sometimes. I firmly believe that every individual's life is a collaboration of those few mandated chapters--grade school, college, marriage for some, death for all--and those handful of hit-you-hard life events that completely shape you as a human being whether you ask for it or not. For some people, those overlap. For some, they don't.

The reminders of those milestones come at me at the most unexpected times. And when my life slows down, I am ever conscious of them.

I lost my grandmother, my Mimi around New Years 2010. Losing my mom in 2012 resulted in this deep-rooted pain that is still evolving, still confusing and unclear. But losing my Mimi brought a shocking heartache that is truly unparalleled. Four-and-a-half years later? Sometimes the hurt is as raw as it was the moment I found out she was gone.

She was only 62, seemingly healthy, although noticeably slower as she aged. She had a heart attack in the middle of the night, and by the time she realized what was happening, the drive to the hospital was a bit too far to save her. We'd spent months worrying about my Papa's heart--he'd had a pacemaker put in after some constant issues... and of course, Mimi was his stronghold through every bit of it. Christmas came and went, and I saw her for the last time just two days before she died. We spent the evening laughing over a card game (that she cheated at), and she happily agreed to alter a stack of dress pants for me. I remember hugging her close on the back porch when she walked me out, and waving to her silhouette as it glowed in the window as she stared out at me as I pulled out of their driveway into the dark winter night. We had all reiterated time and again how we were so ready for 2009 to be over--it had been a really shitty year. Illness, job loss and death swept our family over the latter half of '09. Two days after my last night with her, I was learning the ropes at a new job when my brother called to tell me she was in the hospital and it didn't look good. I called my aunt for some reassurance and the choke of her sobs were the indicator that my unimaginable fear was my new reality.

Something happens in your little chapter book when a pivotal person leaves your world as you know it. The scenes that piece together your days aren't as bright, the hope and excitement you have about life just isn't as exhilarating as it once was. And you're terrified that the dullness is here to stay... and in a way, it is. You seek light and happiness where you can, but I've learned that part of being an adult is experiencing the gnawing pain of loss. There's the obvious sadness of knowing my mom and grandmother will be absent from my wedding, and that they won't be spoil my kids on our holidays together. But it goes further than that.

When I hear the Eagles' "Desperado," it's a summer afternoon and I see my mom sitting cross-legged on the floor, in front of a blaring stereo and momentarily reliving her adolescent years, oblivious to her actual teenage daughter sitting behind her. She was endlessly proud of her long nails--a byproduct of her steroid regimen... so I think of her often when I'm touching up a manicure. I can't count the number of times I have wanted to call my Mimi--to tell her about a new job, or to ask her advice on a recipe. I never thought to ask for her chicken 'n dumplings recipe. I never imagined a world without her in it. The deepest of the pain is born from the most seemingly frivolous of moments.

Sometimes the pain is so real, the tears are there before I really realize why.

She wasn't just my grandmother--she raised me when my mom couldn't. She was always, always cheerful--always so happy to hear from me, from anyone she loved. She was my always my biggest fan. She was the glue that held our family together. Since she passed away, the shock has dissolved, but the grayness of her being gone is overpowering sometimes. Believe me when I say I miss her every single day. And part of me lives in this childlike bubble where I imagine she's still back home in Texas. That she's waiting on me to come play some gin rummy over sweet tea when I make it back home in August. That she's here, but not with me in Nashville.

Tonight, I was experimenting with a new recipe for chocolate cupcakes when my mind wandered to all of the incredible things Mimi would bake from scratch. I was measuring and pouring, mindlessly listening to some spotify jams when Great Peacock slid into queue on my playlist. As the tears stung my eyes, I flipped off the mixer just to stand silently and hear the lyrics I knew were coming (it's a hauntingly beautiful song by a local band, I highly recommend it). And all at once, I just missed her so, so much.



Meet me in the graveyard
when this life has passed you by
and the memories that you buy
they chase the night.

Float me in the heavens
when you've left the mountainside
and you're in the by-and-by
without a night.

And all I want, all I need, is you. 




Sometimes, a girl just wants a conversation with her grandmother. I just need to hear her infectious laugh and have that utter confidence that this world is a beautiful place because this phenomenal, loving and spirited woman adores me and genuinely wants to hear every detail of my mundane workday.

Time waits for no man, and the years come and go. But the depth of sadness I have, missing the hugs from her 5'2" frame, and the sparkle in her gleaming brown eyes never changes.

Losing the people you love is undoubtedly the hardest part of this beautiful life.

2 comments:

  1. That was heartbreak yet beautiful Meg's! I can completely understand your pain from the loss of your Grandmother. Mine impacted my life is much the same way. The hardest part about my wedding day was that she wasn't there to share it with me. She taught me so much and is the reason for my love of many things. Even to this day when something significant or hard comes up in my life is always think of picking up the phone to call her and to share or get advice, even though she has been gone for almost ten years. The pain we endure in this life is sometimes unbearable! I sometimes look back and wonder how it didn't literally kill me due to a broken heart. One of my dear friends after having a heart to heart about a lot of things that had been really hard in my life made a statement that I will never forget. She told me God must really trust you and think that you are strong because he has allowed these things to happen. I often wish he didn't trust me so... I know that I will one day be reunited with my Grandmother and that brings me some comfort. When a memory pops up, which is quite often, I have to choose to be thankful for it and to like you did just relish in it for the moment. I have always had a good memory and I know you do too, but as I grow older it seems more like a curse than a blessing. I will continue to pray for healing in your heart darling! Love you!:)

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  2. I totally teared up reading this, sweet friend.

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