Feelings are a funny thing. We can’t always control them, they never disappear forever, and sometimes they show up uninvited. As my pastor said, feelings have been there long before we’ve had the words to explain them.
And isn’t that an interesting thing to think about. Even today there aren’t always words to explain the way we’re feeling. Sometimes it shows in our face or in how we’re acting, other times it’s deep inside, hiding in a place unnoticed by others.
Sometimes we’re overcome with emotion when we least expect it. Something happens and boom!
Like the other day. If I look back at the moment in slow motion, there was a rush within. I could feel my heartbeat in my head. Then, before I had time to process what was happening, the tears were flowing. Fogging up my new glasses. And I couldn’t get them to stop.
In this three second emotional whirlwind, I was fortunate enough to be accompanied by my mother. Quite possibly the only person who understood in an instant and didn’t need an explanation of my sudden change in mood.
We were shopping downtown, unfolding Simply Southern shirts one after another. As I went to the other side of the table, I ran across one that said ‘Nana.’ But it wasn’t just the word that got me- it was the blue color, the daisies placed in a Mason jar, the phrase ‘means love in the south.’
All of these things were synonymous with my Nana. My grandmother. My hero. The most beautiful person on this earth who was taken way too soon by cancer. And even though it’s been nine years, moments like these still occur when I least expect it.
I ridiculously tried to hide my tears, make them stop, as I crouched down to read other shirts as quickly as possible. But God had other plans.
On the bottom shelf was a pink shirt that read ‘Mimi’ and ‘sweetest person in the south.’
As hard as I try to understand, it’s not always easy to see why I had to lose both of my grandmothers so early in life. It’s only been a little over four months since my spunky, spirited Mimi left us, but dementia took her mind long before that.
My mother has always said the devil did good when he created cancer. Well the same can be said for Alzheimer’s.
I wish I didn’t get jealous when I see grandmothers and granddaughters hanging out, doing fun things, talking and laughing. I wish I didn’t get jealous of older people who still have living grandmothers and great-grandmothers. It’s not all the time I feel that way, and I’m working on it, but it’s enough to make me sit back and focus on how blessed I am despite these heartbreaking life events.
I have a living grandfather who loves me dearly. I have amazing parents and brothers and friends. Aunts, uncles and cousins. I have a boyfriend who understands all of these emotions and thoughts and feelings, and when he doesn’t he listens anyway.
I don’t really know the point in writing this, expect for giving my two loving, caring, simply wonderful grandmothers a shoutout. Two women who couldn’t make it to my college graduation, couldn’t see our new house, won’t be there on my wedding day.
But at the same time, maybe I’m luckier than others. I have two angels watching over me, looking at my actions in everyday life. They can see more now than they could here on earth. They guide me, protect me, watch over me.
As fast as summer is fading into fall, fall will turn into winter and winter will melt into spring. The leaves will come tumbling down, plants will die and then everything will be born again.
Though we may not always have it all together, we’re able to grieve and cope and move on. We’re able to turn tears into smiles and into laughter, for there is certainly life after death. And my grandmothers must have been up to something together that day in the store.