Thursday, April 22, 2010

Take Back Tuesday's -- Happy Tears ;-)

Hey Everyone,

Tonight Doug and I just watched the tear jerking movie "My Sisters Keeper".  I heard from some people that had read the book first that it wasn't that great. I didn't read the book so I was very eager to watch it. We ordered it from netflix months ago but were never in the mood to watch a movie that would make us cry. Well, comcast gave us no choice since the cable was "temporarily unavailable" .. again!

Pretty much from sentence one of the "sister's keepers" narration .. I was crying.  I won't ruin the movie for anyone that has yet to see it, but because of the way it made me feel and who it made me think about, it is the inspiration behind this weeks Take Back Tuesday.

After the movie we both sort of sat there with this "happy/sad" feeling that we knew we would have even before we started the movie.  As with many movies such as this we instantly started talking about death.  We talked about living wills and our wishes once we were gone, but then the conversation lead to what it always does when we are reminded of passing on .. our sweet grandparents.

We love all of our grandparents equally, but like many of you we were both closer to one grandparent more than the other. My sweet granny, who was also my best friend, died of cancer in 2001. It was a blood cancer that attacked her body called multiple myeloma. Doug's grandfather died in 2007 due to complications from old age. We shared about 2 hours worth of stories. Back and forth we had no problem sharing memories. Some were similar while others were very different.  Many of these stories were ones each of us had heard the other tell before, but we listened as if it were the first time, because it felt so bitter sweet for both of us to reflect.

Doug talked about the charming, strong, good man his grandfather was. He laughed as he told me how his grandfather would tell him time and time again about the time he was serving our country in Japan one of the men under him in rank threw a helmet on his head (as he was scolding them for not wearing one) .. just in time to save his life.  He talked about his grandfathers artistic ability and the paintings he had created over the years .. specifically two he painted for his grandmother.  He talked about a summer when he was about 13 and his grandfather picked him up and took him back to KY with him to spend the final 3 weeks of summer. A smile that fondly reflected on better times quickly turned to a quiver of Doug's lip when he went on to talk about the last time he saw his grandfather alive.  He also shared some stories about his grandmother.  It was obvious his grandparents loved each other so very much and even more obvious that Doug still loves them just as much as he did before they were gone.

I talked about my granny. I described the way she smelled, the way she pin curled her hair and the time she cut off that pretty hair and I didn't agree! I closed my eyes and described her HUGE garden and laughed as I told the story about how she kinda didn't like her neighbor because she always thought she was flirting with my papaw (haha).  I talked about the other really little things I can remember, like a specific red plastic cup that I would fill with water and put beside her bed.  It had a black guitar on it and I believe it said Nashville, TN :-) Of course my memories took the same tragic turn as Doug's. I talked about watching her die of cancer and how I had a hard time telling her it was "okay" to leave us here on earth.  In fact, I never told her in person that it was okay.  But we were so connected .. she knew when I was finally "ready" to let her go. I remember that moment well. I went downstairs at about 2 o'clock in the morning and had a heart to heart with my college roommate. I cried and told her that my aunt had told me I needed to tell my grandmother it was okay to die. I told my roommate that it was okay for her to go, that I would miss her, but I would always carry her in my heart. My granny died the next morning.

I could write pages and pages of stories about my granny and by talking to Doug he could do the same about his grandfather.  I could also fill another 10 chapters with stories of my dads parents.  My mamaw isn't doing well, but is still alive. Her husband .. my papaw mccloud .. is no longer with us.  I could fill a book with stories of how my mamaw always picked the meatballs out of my spaghetti and meatballs because I didn't like them.  I remember how she cut open bags of chips with scissors instead of ripping them open. I remember how she would freeze sprite for me and I'd eat it like dessert with a grapefruit spoon and how my papaw taught me to ice skate (forwards and backwards) and ride my bike.

The memories we have of someone special are given to us so that we never really have to let go of them. Sometimes we need these memories to hold on to because the person we love is really sick and we want to remember them the way they were. Sometimes it's because they are gone to a better place and are no longer with us here on earth and then there are even those rare cases where for whatever reason the person we want to remember just isn't in our life anymore.

The point of this Take Back Tuesday is to get you thinking about your grandparents (or if you prefer, whoever that person is that you love, but have lost). Sometimes it's hard to want to remember someone when you've worked so hard to forget that they are no longer with you. But the memories we have from someone that was good in our life are just that .. GOOD!  Memories are kinda like our own little time machines that can take us back to be with that special persona whenever and wherever we want.

As my eyes fill with tears and I think about how I'd give anything to have even one more day with my grandmother, my heart is smiling because I was loved by her. I hope you have as many happy memories with your favorite loved one as I do with mine.

Grace and Peace to you,

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