Candidly Elle

I'm just a girl in love with words and sentences.

An Ode to My Grandmother

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a story that I wrote about my grandmother after she passed away. It’s deeply personally, my granny was a second mother to me because my mom often worked two jobs as a single parent. We shared a lot over the years, she was one of the main reasons I became an avid reader and eventual writer.

Butterfly tattoo in her memory, Photo Elle Henry

Butterfly tattoo in her memory,
Photo Elle Henry

Wake me up when December ends…Pt two

It was stillness in the air that day and a pain in my heart that has never healed. Death had hit me twice that sweet December and I wasn’t ready for my next journey. I looked out the window and tried to think of yesterday years that passed “The good ole days” that would be nevermore. No more cheesecake, TV land and late-night talks about absolutely nothing and no more grandmother. I promised myself that I would be strong for my mother, after all this was her mother and she was in a very fragile state. But granny was my second mom, confidant and my everything. As I stare out at passing cars, trees, stoplights and traffic. I realize that life in an instant can be taken away and in that same instance continue to move forward. I grappled with my emotions and I tried to keep them in check; however this was truly devastating and really hard for me to wrap my head around. It just didn’t make any sense to me, I kept thinking repeatedly. One minute she was alive and vibrant and the next a stroke took it all away.

As we pulled into the cemetery, I felt a chill take over my body, a lump in my throat and I begin to tremble. The car came to a halt; we exited and proceeded walk to her finally resting spot a newly marked spot with fresh covered dirt. You could feel the tension as everyone watched me, I was always the sensitive type and I never coped well with death. This was a special instance given that my grandmother and I were so close that we shared a room together and life. My everything. She was the first to know about me losing my virginity. We would giggle and laugh all night and fight like sisters at other times. She was my best friends and here I am staring down at her grave. It just didn’t seem right to me, I could not wrapped my mind around the fact that my grandmother was gone. I wanted to be strong, I wasn’t here for the funeral. I was in California and in a way I think she wanted it that way. My sister was on a plane to California to visit me for Thanksgiving the day she passed. So, I think that she wanted me to remember her happy and free from pain. As, hard as it was for me the day of her funeral that’s what I did. I celebrated her life all day with my sister through laughter and a few tears.

I walked up closer to the plot and again I notice the pile of fresh dirt.

“Brand new” I thought and I completely lost control of my emotions. I collapsed on the fresh grave and sobbed like a baby. I couldn’t understand this and why I wasn’t given the chance to say a proper goodbye. Even now it touches a spot in my soul that I try to hide. I lie there on that pile of sand, letting my tears stain the ground and wept. My family allowed me my time with her alone and for that I am grateful. But it took me a long time to realize that everything happens for a reason and it was meant for me to be in California when she passed. My grandmother wanted me to remember her in happy times and that is how she was the last time that I saw her. It took time to realize that the Lord’s will is his way. I am not angry with him anymore, because she is always with me. I finally have peace in my heart, but she will always be my best friend and I will always cherish those memories.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s and grandmother’s!

Elle <3

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“Wake me up when December ends…” is an Excerpt from the book “Pieces of Me: A Collection of Poems and Short Stories” Copyright Elle Henry 2014.

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