I went to bed about 11:15 last night and fell into a deep sleep. But, I woke up at 12:35 a.m., August 5th. It happens every year at the same time, and it's been happening for the past 9 years.
On August 5th at 12:35 a.m. 2000, my grandmother took her last breath and passed from this earth. Last night, like every other year, I just laid there wondering why I always woke up at her time of death. Maybe it is because I was there with her when she died. I can't believe it's been 9 years already. I can still smell her perfume sometimes and it still hurts in the very depths of my soul.
Grief is not something that someone goes through quickly. Last year, the 8th year of her being gone, was the first year I wasn't a crying mess. I realized that crying wasn't going to do me any good and it wasn't going to bring her back. I don't just think about her on August 5th or on her birthday, I think about her every day. But still, when this date rolls around, I feel the pain of her loss. I guess there are different levels of grief, depending on the relationship. Yes, she was my grandma, but she was ultimately my mother, the one who raised me since I was very little. The only mother I ever knew.
She would be so proud to know the woman I've turned into, I am who she molded me to be. She tried very hard to turn me into a respectable person. Along the way, I gave her my own grief and rebelled as much as I could. I was disrespectful and would cuss at her. My version of rebelling was nothing too bad, because she kept just enough reign on me to yank me back if I started getting too out of control. Growing up with her was something I hated. But looking back at how she reared me, she did the best job and I am who I am because of her. But no matter what, she always provided for me. In the end, I was the one taking care and providing for her. It's funny how the table got turned and I went from daughter to parent immediately. I do so many things that remind me of my grandma. When she first died and I would do these things, it would make me mad or upset. Like twiddling my thumbs. My grandma did this all the time and it honestly drove me crazy. The first year after she died, I was sitting in church zoning out. The tears began to pour from my eyes as I looked down from my own hands realizing that I was now twiddling my thumbs as well. I have recently been missing her hands. I used to love her hands and I can still feel them.
I wish she was alive to see how I found God and how much I have changed just by surrendering my life to Christ. She would be so proud that I am who she wanted me to be and I follow Christ. The stupid decisions I've made with some men in my life wouldn't of been made, she wouldn't of allowed it. Our family, though not perfect, have kinda all done our own thing now that the head of our family is gone. If she was still alive, the family would be so different. We would still be a family. My family dynamic is hard to explain and very few people actually understand everything. But if she was here, we would of all made an effort to still be united.
Oh she would of doted over all the children being born, especially the great-grandchildren that has been born since she passed. She would of spoiled every single one of them unconditionally and made them feel love that only a great-grandmother could show. She would of cried at Rosie's wedding when she saw how beautiful Rosie looked in her gown. The family situation that happened with my two nieces and nephew would of never happened. She would of raised them herself. She would of helped Charlie when he was diagnosed as being Schizophrenic. That probably would of never happened if she was alive. Because she would of took him in, instead of him being pushed to various family members. I often ponder how life would be if she was still here.
I know it's best that she's gone, she suffered so horribly from the stroke. I was relieved when she took her last breath, because she had suffered so long and I couldn't take her hurting any more. But I still miss her. I still miss her hands stroking my hair when I didn't feel well. I miss her humming in my ear. I miss her sticking her tongue out at me. I miss her eccentric sense of style with her crazy Christmas sweaters and gold tennis shoes. I miss her telling me not so clean jokes and telling me to tell my friends. I miss her cooking and baking. I miss her love she gave to everyone, not just me.
Nine years later, I still miss her immensely.