For most of my life, she lived on a gravel road. Her old country house had a sleeping porch. She wore dresses from rummage sales and her kitchen always smelled like homegrown veggies simmering on the stove. She had more gum than teeth but that never kept her from smiling. She was loud, oh Lord have mercy she was so so so loud. There was not much of a decibal range whether she was shouting for joy or just plain shoutin'. I only got to visit her a couple of times a year and I can clearly remember those tight squeezes....because sometimes they were over the top and cut off my breathing, but all in all I survived and she would boil over.
I can remember when she would be disappointed too. If I got a boo boo, her "AHH NOOOO" would wake up the neighbors, except that her only neighbors were cows and bulls and I reckon they didn't mind too much.
I remember watching her juggle several pots and pans on the stove and in the oven, the old country kitchen kind of oven....and she would put an entire stick of butter in everything.
I didn't go to her funeral. She died when I was a young adult. I couldn't recall if I was 19, 20, or 23. I don't recall the date of her death. I do remember that she got to meet Spencer when he was just a baby. I didn't go to her funeral either because I didn't have the money to travel, or possibly because I wasn't getting along with my dad, her son. I just don't remember.
But the past couple of times I have traveled to her home town in Arkansas, I have tried to find her gravesite. With some of my aunts and uncles, I have combed 3 cemeteries with no luck finding her. Until the past weekend. On Saturday October 23rd, I found my grandma. I was by myself. As I was driving to the cemetery I finally knew was her burial place, memories of her flooded my mind and tears welled up on several occasions. When I finally pulled up the truck and stepped out onto the gravel driveway in front of an old condemned church, and walked the grounds of a tiny old cemetery, I couldn't help but cry out "grandma i'm so sorry i didn't go to your funeral". I found her. And I am only writing this blog post because she did something really amazing and sweet. She led me to herself on the exact date of the 20th anniversary of her death. I told you she was loud. I had no idea I would find her on the anniversary of her death.
I spent 45 minutes bawling my eyes out in her resting place. God rest her sweet loud soul.