Sunday, February 20, 2011

And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow

I wasn't going to bring this news to the world wide web, but I guess if you're invested enough in me to check my blog, you deserve to know that my Granny Connie left this world on February 10.  I knew I'd experience highs and lows when I moved - I didn't know I'd be singing at my Grandmother's funeral within the first 3 weeks.  In the end, she was ready.  She was tired.  It's what she wanted, and I guess God was ready to welcome her Home.  But it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to the mere mortals still here on earth.

Childhood and adolescence are hard on everyone.  I know that now.  But when you're a kid and you're bearing the burden of figuring out life and learning it's sometimes harder than you'd wish and someone else always seems to have it easier, you need that safe place.  That person who says I love you exactly how you are.  That kitchen that's always full of your favorite foods, that backyard filled with your favorite toys, that bookshelf that always has exactly what you want to read, that swing where you learn to let your cares slip away.  Granny, you were that person: your house, that house, your things, those things. 

Thirty-something miles outside of Birmingham, AL sits the town of McCalla.  In the town of McCalla stretches a road called Eastern Valley, once full of all sorts of Kendricks, the brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, cousins, aunts and uncles of my family.  One by one they all passed, or moved.  Granny Connie was the last one standing.  I thought she'd be standing awhile longer, keeping watch, pulling up weeds, fussing over Sunday dinner preparations and showing me how to crotchet. 

If I've learned anything from her, it's that life is what's happening now.  She never complained or wished her life was any different than exactly what it was.  She didn't harped on the past or waste time dawdling in idle daydreams.  She raised three children who in turn gave her eight grandchildren, all of whom adored every second spent with her.  If I can be a fraction of the wife, mother, sister, friend and woman she was, it will be a major miracle. 

Sleep well, Granny.  God knows you've earned it.  I hope you're enjoying Heaven, arm in arm with Paw-Paw, shelling peas on the front porch, baking this world's best macaroni and cheese and cornbread.  Thank you for a lifetime of lessons, a lot of love, and a family I'm both lucky and proud to be a part of.  My happiest memories are filled with you.