This gloomy, rainy, sad day is perfectly fitting for what today marked. Today, my Granny passed away. I got word that she was gone, & minutes later, the sky got dark & the rain began to beat down. While heaven may be rejoicing that she's finally home, the world lost one of the greatest people ever to grace it with her presence. Granny was a one-of-a-kind, gentle, tender, darling, Pollyanna, & her void is felt greatly by friends & family who desperately loved her.
As a kid, we lived thousands of mile away from each other, but I never doubted that Granny adored my sister & I as much as the cousins who were close to her. She loved hearing from us, filling her in on the details of school & church, & making plans for our next visit. Some of my best memories were spent in Nashville during the sticky, humid summers. Granny made Nashville for me. It's Southern charm & hospitality have won me over, & I hope to move there someday, but I truly believe that what made me love it so much was Granny.
As we got to Granny's house, we'd walk up the stairs from the garage into the hallway, turning into our room with 2 twin beds, both decorated with matching red-flowered bedspreads. My sister & I spent many afternoons "playing office" at the desk with an assortment of pens & paper leftover from Grandaddy's work. At night, Granny would tuck each of us in, making sure the light was on in the closet next to us. She would kiss us goodnight, walk to the doorway, &, with a beaming smile on her face, would say, "Remember, if you need anything, just yell Graaaaaannnyyyyy!"
In the morning, after being awoken several times during the night by the sound of the train just on the other side of their property, the sunlight would come streaming into our bedroom, & we'd tiptoe down the hallway, through the living room, to a sliding door that closed off the kitchen. Before you opened it, pausing just in front of the door, you could hear the bustle on the other side: laundry running, the muffled tv, the crinkling of a newspaper, & the ding of the toaster oven. Upon opening the door, you were greeted with a "Good morning, suga'!" from Grandaddy & then a squeeze & a kiss from Granny. She'd get us settled into a chair & make us an English muffin with peanut butter & jelly, which to this day, I still love.
After breakfast came my favorite part of every Nashville visit. Granny would get dressed in one of her many polyester jumpsuits, & make her way into the dining room where the sunlight came pouring in through the wall-length windows. She'd smile & say that she needed lots of light to "draw her eyebrows on." I'd watch her slowly & methodically, apply each item of makeup in her case. She'd finish it up with her bright pink Revlon lipstick, & spritz herself with Red Door by Elizabeth Arden. It is probably my favorite smell in this entire world. I bought a small purse size bottle of Red Door about a year ago to keep with me. I keep it in my bathroom drawer, & pull it out when I am missing her. I pulled it out today after I heard the sad news, & have been wearing it to feel her close. Once Granny had her eyebrows on, the sponge curlers had been pulled out, her hair had been perfectly teased & sprayed with half a bottle of Aquanet, we were ready to head out for shopping. It was always shopping. She was good at it. We'd pick a few outfits, Mom would tell us to pick our favorite, & Granny would insist that we get them all...just as long as we didn't tell Grandaddy. We'd hop in the giant Mercury & head out to the next store, all the while rifling through Granny's "pocketbook" for peanut butter candies & orange crackers with peanut butter to tide us over before inevitably heading to Krystal's for lunch. Granny jabbered every second we were all together. She was always so "tickled" to have us there, squeezed us every second she could, & had a smile on her face every moment of everyday that we visited.
My mind is flooded with a million memories of Granny today: the way she would say "you all" instead of "y'all" because it was more dignified, the softness of her skin, the cornbread with herbs in it, the small bottles of Dr. Pepper that she carried wherever she went, the creaks in the house, the smell of her perfume, the way she'd call us her little darlins, the panty hose she wore everyday of her life, the way she'd unwrap Hostess packets for her poker team on the Friday nights that she had to "bake." I could go on & on about the little things that made Granny so special. She had the sweetest quirks - they made up this darling, wonderful, loving, kind-hearted, tiny woman who made a huge impact on the people in her life. She loved everyone, never met a stranger, & blessed every person's heart she ever encountered.
I miss my Granny very much tonight, but my heart is happy knowing that she is in heaven with Jesus tonight. She is in the arms of her Mama & Daddy, & her sweetheart tonight, & I know that's right where she wanted to be. Someday I'll see her again, & I know I'll be greeted with a giant hug & a "Well, hey, suga'!"
Goodnight, Granny. You are leaving behind a huge hole, but I am so thankful for every single memory I have of you. I will see you again someday. All my love.