Dear Grandmama, 

I was with you by myself when you changed your address from Liberty Street to Highway of Holiness. You told me in the final days of your life that you would slip off early one morning, and God’s holy angels ushered you into His presence at 2:50 that Friday morning in 2007. It was 14 years ago yesterday. No, you didn’t gain wings, for we are not angels, but those blessed heavenly messengers carried you to your forever Home and left behind a crying granddaughter who somehow managed to dial mama and ask her to come to your bedside.

As she was coming, I watched you take your last sigh.  I have often reflected back on that moment, I think about Moses prayer in Psalm 90:9 when he says “We finish our years like a sigh.” Often during your life I heard you sigh followed by, “I have so much to do I don’t know where to start.”

You raked up enough cottonwood leaves to fill the landfill over the 40 years that tree overshadowed your hill, and I’ve often trekked beside piles of Sweetgum balls that you raked up, then put into the ‘washes’ as you called it around your place. That’s where the rain washed out the dirt creating little rivulets and you were bound and determined to keep the soil in place.

You loved your flowers, you would get out on your hands and knees with an Old Hickory knife and cut all the grass out of your flower beds that ran the length of your driveway. 

I’ve watched the sun glint on your face as we chatted for a few minutes when I dropped by to see you. Even when you were 86 and 87 you would be out there in the sunshine and wind digging in the dirt you loved so much. 

Someone said that in this life, some rain is bound to fall, each one sheds his share of tears and trouble troubles us all … But the hurt won’t hurt forever, and the tears are bound to dry, and it won’t rain always soon the clouds will be gone, and the sun that they’ve been hiding has been there all along, the sun’s gonna shine in God’s own good time and He will see you through. - Gloria Gaither

I listened to this song a lot in the days after your departure. In the stillness of the moments of sorrow I could see the raindrops dimpling the little lake we fished in together not far from your camp site in Grenada at Gore Springs. I took a picture of that gray spring rain and have cherished the moments we spent ever since. Walking on the other side of grief has been hard.

Two Sundays after we buried you, I suddenly wanted to go down and clean your grave. I drove down in the late afternoon to lovingly take care of your final resting place like I’d often taken care of you those last several months.  

I threw all the old flowers off into the woods and put the silk ones on that fresh mound of dirt. Tears flowed afresh. But as I turned to leave, the cross made out of vines and silk flowers stood against the cloudy sky. A comfort and peace washed over my soul that I can’t explain. 

You finished the sunset of your day and you no longer had to worry about cottonwood leaves or Sweetgum balls or digging grass out of your flower bed. The fish would have to jump without you and we would never share moments at the lake again.

But I’m grateful for the time we had and that one Day we will never to be parted. All my love, Gina.

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