...does something to me. I go through life just like everyone else: angry with that driver who cut me off in traffic (STUPID HEIFER!!!); SPITTING mad at Ahmad for bringing home a bad test grade; ready to SELL Keanohn for using my last bottle of glue as moisturizer....and BAM! You get this call that while you were holding onto this FOOLISHNESS...another of your loved ones has slipped away unnoticed. And, I always ask myself, "Lord, WHY am I expending my energy being angry instead of enjoying these FLEETING moments with those I love???"
ALL of my life, my paternal grandmother was sick...my Mom just told me that when she FIRST met my father, my grandmother was sick...FORTY years is a LOOOONG freakin' time to hurt. She was one of the FUNNIEST ladies I've ever known. She told me once, "Kean, I'm getting ALL of my teeth pulled out!" "WHY, Grandma?", I asked. "Because they're RAGGEDY!" She DIDN'T mince words, I tell you that!!!! And, I LOVE that I inherited that from her. I remember playing at her house during the summers when I was young but I kinda lost track of my Perkins family for some years. My parents divorced and I had to deal with all the BS that children of divorce DEAL with...the children should ALWAYS be made to feel love from Mama, Daddy, NEW Mama, NEW Daddy...they should NEVER have to endure the adult foolishness...but SOMETIMES I did...and my family relationships suffered for it. Fast forward to me being a grown woman. It's sad to say that I DO have a connection with my Perkins side...but somehow not as close as I do with the family I grew up with. At 38, I can't blame WHATEVER my parents did or didn't do...it's all on me now. That, combined with the fact that I STILL haven't recovered from my Father leaving us four years ago AND the blow of my grandfather dying eight months ago...in case you couldn't tell...I don't DEAL WELL with sickness...let ALONE death. So, this last time my grandmother got sick...I COULDN'T. I couldn't stand to see her suffering...I didn't want to see her going down. So, instead of visiting, I tried praying her well from home. Because, I could visit her when she was well...I just don't DO WELL with sick. When my Dad got sick, the doctors gave him 6 months to live...he didn't make it to five. And, I drove that 8 hours from New Orleans to Jacksonville SEVERAL times, trying to take in that last bit of him before God reclaimed him. The last time I saw him, which was three weeks before he passed away, I knew that it HAD TO BE the last time. In life, my father was 6'2" and about 190 pounds. The last time I saw him, he had CLEARLY shrunk; I'm 5'7" and in the picture we took that day, he looks to be about 4" taller than me. Ahmad still has the t-shirt that my Dad wore in that picture...it's too small for Ahmad...my Dad HAD to have been 130 pounds that day. I KNEW I couldn't take seeing him again. So, I'm well aware of my limitations and I don't try to go beyond them. That's why John and I were on our knees 3 o'clock this morning, praying for God to strengthen my Grandmother...because that's what I COULD do.
We got the call this evening: "Grandma is on life support...you need to come." We dropped the boys by my Mom's and went to the hospital. We hugged all 15 of our family members sitting in the waiting room and my cousin, Rick took us to the room. I'm SOO grateful for two kindnesses: right before we walked into the room, Rick turned and said, "She's already gone, Kean" and I was grateful for the warning. Now that I've had time to think about it, I'm glad that we got there after they removed her from the ventilator. I may have been pushed over the edge by seeing the harsh, artificial rise/fall motion of my Grandmother's chest. She's at peace now...she never has to be sick again. I kissed and rubbed her still warm cheek and I thanked God for her. I'm glad for her offspring which allowed ME to exist; I'm grateful for that sense of humor and the good looks I inherited from her. And, as I said goodbye to her, I thanked God for accepting her soul into His fold...and for another opportunity to get it right with my family.