9.17.2005

And I Missed Her Deeply

My sweaty hands gripped the Super Nintendo controller as I maneuvered Mario through a land of falling platforms, fire-spitting plants, and lava-filled pits. My cousin Jonathan watched intently as he waited for his time to take control of the game. (This had become a familiar routine for us.) Just months before, our Grandma had went through Thyroid surgery in order to stop the cancer that was spreading through her body. Sadly, the surgery did not stop the cancer. So, most of our family spent every spare minute at my grandparents house. Since I lived near Grandma, Jonathan would come and play video games with me while everyone else became "bedside nurses." To be honest, I couldn't bare to step into her house anymore. The scent of freshly-baked apple pies and collard greens no longer filled her rooms. Instead, the smell of sickness and death permeated the air. It seemed better to remember Grandma like she used to be...vibrant and lively. Well, this particular day seemed like all the others until my mom and dad came into my room.

"Eric," my mom said with a deep sound of somberness in her voice, "I just got a call from your Aunt Sherry."
Then, there was a long pause–– the kind that makes your heart sink into the pit of your stomach, where you know that whatever follows isn’t going to be good.
"Sherry said your Grandma has just taken a turn for the worse."
I felt sick to my stomach. I knew that my grandmother was losing her battle with cancer, and I knew that her time was coming soon...but I wasn’t ready to lose her. (Are we ever ready to lose our loved ones?)

"Do you and Jonathan want to go see her once more before–-"

"No...I think that I’ll just stay here."

"How about you Jonathan?"

"I’ll stay here too."

"Okay. We’ll call you if anything changes."

After my parents left, Jonathan began playing Super Mario again. I stared at Jonathan, and I saw in him the same numbness that I felt deep inside of me. My heart ached. I felt like an immovable stone of sorrow had been laid upon me--and I was strangling–-grasping to breathe a hint of hope. But I felt lonely and cold.

Time seemed to creep for the next hour, until I heard the phone ring. As I lurked toward the phone, each ring pierced my heart like a cold knife because I already knew the words that were about to be spoken:

"I’m sorry...your Grandma just died."

I hung up the phone and I gave Jonathan a hug, but we didn’t speak. I wanted to mourn but death had emptied my emotions and taken my tears and locked everything deep inside. I knew that Grandma was a faithful follower of Christ, so I was joyful that she was now able to see God face to face and sing praises to Him. But sadness can accompany joy. Although I rejoiced in Grandma’s release from her earthly toil, I couldn’t escape the sadness of knowing that one of my best friends was gone from my life. I would never experience another Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or any other holiday with her. She wouldn’t be able to see me graduate from high school, college, or seminary. Her seat at my wedding would be empty.

My Grandma was dead. And I missed her deeply.

2 comments:

Travis said...

Eric, interesting and poigniant stuff man. We can all relate to that at some point in our lives. Good hanging out with all you all yesterday too. We should do it again soon.

Anonymous said...

sinse im a girl you know that made me cry especially at the end.it makes me think of my grandma. thats really sad but you know that right now both of our grandmas are in heaven in the presense of the lord singing praises to his name together. i miss her deeply as well as you. when my grandma was alive and healthy it was her who bruoght the whole family together on sundays she could cook like there was no tomorrow and wow was it good. im sure if she was still alive that i would know my whole family instead of just the little part that i know. ask sissy she knows. eric you should be a writer cause you sure are good at it. anyway i love you. love tiff