This weekend, my great-grandmother (known to me as Grandmommy) passed away. She was 88 years old; her health had declined over the years. Though we knew she was in ill health, the news of her death still came as a shock to me.
As a young child, I spent a large part of my time at her house on Henley Hill Rd. A small trailer home at the end of the lane, my cousin Cedrick and I spent as much time outdoors as in. I remember vividly Cedrick teaching me how to ride a bike on the gravel driveway in front of her house–my legs still bear the scars from my failed attempts. Grandmommy taught me a thing or two as well, such as how good luck can be brought on my unexpected events…like the bird that pooped on my leg while sitting at a picnic table in her tree-shaded yard wasn’t gross, it was a sign of good fortune. She had a hard time convincing Cedrick of that fact when a bird pooped on his head in her yard though.
Her kitchen held Shredded Wheat cereal–the big sugarless bricks, not the cute frosted squares–and a deep freezer with a seemingly endless supply of orange, cherry, and grape popsicles from the Schwann man. Her television was a huge, wood-framed thing. She always attended church and was a fixture in the choir.
A few weeks ago, I was going through an old box and found the card she gave me for graduating college in 2009. For my radio broadcasting internship in college, I billed myself as “Ashley Maxine” in tribute to her. I don’t think she knew that when she congratulated me on getting my college degree, but I hope she appreciates our memories of her and how we’ll honor her now that she’s with our Heavenly Father.
I imagine that my Uncle Bernest and Granny ‘Loma greeted her with a song at the gates of Heaven. Her husband and daughter (Grandaddy Babes and Aunt Donna) weren’t too far behind. She’s probably singing praises so loudly that God has no choice but to stop and take notice, just as we did all those Sundays in church.