I’m addressing this posthumous blog to you, even though you’re not here to read it, nor do you know or understand what a blog or other “tech speak” is- but I’m pretty sure you understand a letter and understand the feelings that we’re all going through.
I know that you’re looking down from heaven, spending Jesus’ birthday with him rather than with our family like we always have. Your house was always the place to be at Christmastime- even when I was a little girl. We always had the best food, and you had the little Christmas tree up, and Lynda and Gregg (aunt and uncle) would drive up from Charleston with gifts. Some of my best Christmas memories were over there at your house, and it doesn’t feel right without you there. This past weekend, no one would sit in your recliner- it just didn’t feel right- that’s YOUR chair. It didn’t feel right to have our family around- at Christmastime, and for you not to be coming out of your kitchen or down the hallway.
It hurts to know that I see your phone number in my phone, and know that I’ll never call it again and get the ubiquitous busy signal, knowing that you were chatting it up with your friends from church, family members, or other friends from way back when. You’re no longer there for me to call over and over for an hour, getting a busy signal each time- and for me to explain the busy signals to my mom when she wondered why I hadn’t called you in so long. But now, you can check up on everyone from the past- including Lynda, Robert (uncle), Dr. Jack (grandfather), your parents, siblings, and the many friends who passed away before you.
ACS had an ad in Sunday’s paper, listing every employees name, thanking everyone in Florence for their support for over 30 years, and thanking our awesome team at work for a job well done and a banner year. It felt weird not to be calling you to tell you to save that paper- to cut out the ad because it has my name in it and to see the names of my coworkers and friends. You always did that- every time I made the honor roll in elementary school, was named a Junior Scholar in middle school, got an award in high school, or made the President’s List at Francis Marion. I think the end table beside your recliner has every newspaper clipping I ever appeared in, which was a lot. It makes me sad that this one won’t be there in that stack with all of the others.
My dad cancelled the insurance on your Cadillac “Clunker” the other day. I’ll always remember your “Buckle Up for Jesus” license plate, which unfortunately got dented and fell off during that fender-bender at the intersection by BestWay Grocery and the bank. The car won’t crank anymore, and all we can figure out is that my dad isn’t the rightful driver of the clunker. Mom, Dad, and I joked that when we sell the car, we’ll run a classified ad telling potential buyers that the car is automatically programmed to go to the Hardee’s Drive-Thru for a Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich and the KFC Drive-Thru for a 2-piece dark with cole slaw and mashed potatoes.
I’m glad God spoke to me on Wednesday night and told me to go to the hospice house after my workout, even if it was 10:00 at night and I was tired after a long day of writing documentation, doing kid’s ministry at church, and lifting weights. I’m glad I listened to that voice as I made that left turn onto Palmetto when leaving the gym. To know I got to spend those few moments with you, even just telling you about our work Christmas party, the Revolution Kidz “Birthday Party for Jesus”, and how my leg strength has increased, is a memory that I shall always cherish.
Your only granddaughter,