But, six years ago April lost some of it's luster. Unfairly pneumonia started an unexpected chain of events that stole a beautiful soul from this earth. My mother's mom, Mo, fell sick and within less than a week she was gone. The unexpectedness, the DNR [whole other post], the choice I made to wait until the weekend to head down to Tennessee [will regret missing that time for the rest of my life], have all made dealing with her death extremely hard. We had seen her that summer and had planned to see her the next summer just like we did every year. Our yearly Tennessee trip to the lake was a week of fun in the sun and family time with our grandparents and aunt, uncle and cousin. Sometimes there was a bit of family discord, but all in all it was a wonderful week of good food, family and sunshine.
Mo suffered a stroke when I was younger and she started suffering from Alzheimer's when I was in college. There had been falls in the past and we knew an assisted living home might become a possibility because our grandfather T-Bone wouldn't be able to care for her as she needed. We knew she was getting older and that more patience would be needed during visits. However, the patience was never needed because too soon she left us to be home with the Lord.
I miss her. EVERYDAY.I.MISS.HER! But, April hits me hard. It's no longer just a happy sparkly month. It's a month that brings sadness, anger and tears. April brings back the pain of that weekend, the sadness of a funeral and the memories of so many people coming to honor my grandmother. She was an amazing lady. One who always had a smile, had a heart of gold and just loved to be around family. I can close my eyes and see her waving goodbye to us as we drove away from their home. I can still hear her voice say "Hey there, doll".
I still grieve that she wasn't able to be here for my wedding. I've written about it before, but her being gone kept it from being the perfect day. She would have loved the excitement. She would have loved the party and the cupcakes. I'm sure she would have had her South Carolina opinion about something [peeled tomatoes, straight hair parted down the center], but she would have danced on the dance floor and told me I was her beautiful doll. She would have walked own the aisle so proudly and hugged me and Le Husband a million times. She never got to meet the man of my dreams or witness me become a wife. She will never see her great-grand children and she will never be able to pass down advice on being a mother. Those moments have been stripped away forever and I can't help but cry as I type.
I honored her at my wedding with a picture on our wedding cake table. She loved cake and ice cream and I knew I wanted her picture where all could witness her beautiful face. I find myself looking back to these photos every time I scroll through wedding pictures. It's the little piece of her I keep in my heart from that day.
Wasn't she gorgeous? I get my small stature from her and my petite lil frame. I wish I had taken the time to cook with her more. I wanted to learn her butter bean, potato salad and ham recipe. Mama B will teach me, I know, but I wish I had spent time in the kitchen with Mo. She loved to cook. That's how she showed love, by cooking dinner for us every night when we visited. She wasn't as athletic as she once was, due to a midlife surgery, so she couldn't participate in some of the fun on the lake. But she brought us dinner every night and it was delicious.
We lost my great aunt, Mo's sister in 2013 and it happened to be the same week we had to say good-bye to Mo. It was so hard and it ripped open a scab I thought was closed for good. The anger came back. The hurt came back. And my faith felt tested once again. To be honest it feels tested every April 8th. She's not here anymore and I regret all of the things I didn't say to her and the moments I brushed off because I would get frustrated. I lost so much and it was all my fault. But, there is nothing I can do about it now. All I can do is honor her memory and remember all the joy she brought to my life.
Dearest Mo, I hope you know that you are missed so greatly. I hope you are proud of the woman your doll baby has become. I hope you are proud of how much I love to be in the kitchen and how much I love to cook. I hope when you look down on us you smile at Le Husband. He's a great guy, even if he isn't southern ;)! I know you and Aunt Rah-Rah are keeping people well fed up in heaven and I'm happy that the two of you are together. We all wish you could still be with us, but we know it was time for you to go home. Please know how much we love you and how often you are still thought about. I'll always pick the vegetables from the back because of you. I love you to the moon and back! < 3 your doll!
***To those reading that have lost a parent, please know I grieve for you. Losing my grandmother hurts me so badly, but I can't imagine the suffering faced when losing a parent. Please know I'm praying for you and send you a big hug***