Today was very hard, friends. Daddy and Uncle Danny made the very difficult decision that when Mammaw is well enough to leave the hospital, she won’t be able to go back home and live by herself anymore.
It kind of knocks the wind out of me to write it. I can’t begin to imagine the anguish mine and Jim’s parents are feeling about it, but I know mama has shed a lot of tears today. Me too.
They told Mammaw this morning, and she seemed to understand. But she just keeps saying, “I’m ready to go home.”
Tonight, my heart is at her tidy little brick house just across the pond from my parents. It’s on her back porch, in the white rocking chairs where it always smells like four o’clocks in bloom. It’s in her bathroom with the red heat lamp that she would click on when I would spend the night as a child and take bubble baths with those flowery Avon potions. It’s in the glass pitcher of fresh sweet tea, always in her refrigerator with a crumpled, homemade aluminum foil lid. It’s in her wallpapered and country blue dining room, and in the ring of bricks in the side yard where she would build campfires and roast marshmallows for me and Jim when we got to sleep over. It’s in the red and white striped flannel blanket we would use to build forts in the living room with chair backs and rubber bands. It’s in the Reader’s Digest condensed book hardbacks with the illustrated endsheets of ships and pirates that sit on the book shelves in the living room. It’s in the secret passageway to the garage beside the fireplace where they kept the firewood stacked for cold winter days. It’s in her utility room with the wall of canned figs and tomatoes, empty Ball jars ready for summer’s bounty.
I know that those places aren’t her, that a house does not make a home, but right now it sure feels like it.
This is going to be good, even though it feels seismic and difficult right now. It will be good for her to be surrounded by people again, which she really hasn’t in the last 14 years since Pappaw passed away. I imagine her making friends. I imagine us visiting during lunch because she’ll be close by to our house and the shop. I imagine us bringing her over for dinner at my house one night because it’s close. I imagine my dad, finally able to rest at night, not sleeping on the floor beside her bed to be sure she doesn’t fall in the night. I imagine mama, no longer worrying if Mammaw has all the right pills each day, knowing someone is watching over her when it’s time to take the right medicines to keep her feeling well.
I would really appreciate your prayers for mine and Jim’s parents as they find their footing, and for my precious grandmother as she makes this big transition.