I'm not even sure where to begin this post. I thought I would be "further along" by now, that it wouldn't hurt so much. I thought since I've dealt with grief so much in my 37 years that this would be easier. I've lost four children for goodness sake, this really should be an easy road to walk. I thought I would not be dealing with depression over this loss. I didn't believe I would be fighting to keep my head above water because of this pain. I've used all of the old cliches on myself. She lived a long full life. It was her time. She's in a better place. I keep coming back to one thing though. She was my Mema.
Mema. There is so much wrapped up in that one simple word. There is no way I could even begin to describe her. I stayed at her house every Friday night from the time I was old enough to stay away from my parents until I was in high school. My Senior year of high school, all of my friends went to the Drugstore or McDonald's for lunch. I went to Mema and Pepa's house. We worked puzzles together into the wee hours of the night, more nights than I can count. We would sing together, she would chastise me for buying such a hard puzzle, and she always let me put the last piece in. For my eighteenth birthday I wanted to go on a trip with my Mema and Pepa more than anything else in the world. I just can't imagine doing life without her there.
I don't understand God's timing. We were packed, ready to leave at 9 in the morning. It was 3 am. I will never in my life forget the scream from my Mother's mouth. It still haunts me when I dwell on it. While I was still pregnant with Andon, God told me I needed to go home for Thanksgiving, that I needed to go see Mema. I truly felt like her time with us was short. I felt like she wouldn't make it to Christmas. But why did He take her before I got there? Why did she not get to hold Andon in her arms? Why didn't I get to see her see him? Why not one more day? So many whys and what ifs are surrounding those next few days. Why was my Mom in Illinois instead of with her? Why was she fine one minute, eagerly looking forward to our arrival, and not fine an hour or two later? Why didn't I get to see her?
The last time I saw her was Easter. We were alone. She and I talked about the baby to come. She told me she was tired. I told her to take a nap. She told me, "no Angie, I'm just tired of living." I will never forget it. She was ready then. She told me she missed Pepa. There is a part of me that felt she waited to see Andon and yet, she didn't get to, and I just don't understand that. I never will.
My leaving for Japan nearly killed her. Literally. Yet, that two years and knowing I'd be gone from her gave me the courage to ask the one question I needed to be able to truly walk through this grief. I don't know if I would have mustered the courage to ask her about her salvation if I hadn't been pressed into it. But I did. I know she made a decision to follow Jesus when she was a child. I know she is in heaven. I know I did what I needed to make sure she was in a right relationship with Christ.
For some reason now it's the little things that are keeping me from moving through this pain. I've been home-home twice now since she died. Once for the funeral and Thanksgiving. Once for a Christmas celebration in January. Both times my Mom has offered to give me some of her jewelry. I can't take it. At the same time I remember her getting upset when I cried over losing my Nana's earrings once. I know she doesn't want me crying over her jewelry. She would be so upset with me. Her cookie jar sits in my kitchen. I've had it for years. She gave it to me a long time ago. It's had Nilla wafers in it since the day I got it. I can't look at it without crying these days. She made me a beautiful blanket. It's in the closet right now. At my children's birthday parties, I handed them cards from Nan and Grandaddy. Both days I caught myself right before I said, "and Mema." I've been saying that for so long it just naturally came. Yesterday I was in Wal-mart and walked by a huge barrel of cheese balls. She loved cheese balls. I cried in Wal-mart over cheese balls!
I've dreamed about her. I've longed for it to all be a dream. It's not. I miss her. It hurts. I hurt. I'm fighting this pain, trying not to let it become the encompassing depression that envelopes me and takes me away from everyone I love. It's hard. I don't like it. There are days I'm not even sure I'm going to make it. I feel like a failure for feeling that way. That's just life and who I am right now.When someone as amazing as Mema walks into your life, its hard to walk forward when she walks out.