Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Ghost of Rememberance

I woke this morning in the midst of remembering those steamy ,Mississippi, summer days from my fifteenth year. My sister Mary and I were spending the whole summer with my grandparents and enjoyed simply being in their home. In the mornings, my Memaw and I would take a walk down the winding country road that lead from their house and in the afternoons I loved to waltz through the little peach orchard that my great-grandfather had planted. There is so much that comes back to me now...so much that I had forgotten. The little wasp's nest that seemed a threat every time you went into the laundry room, the smell of sun-ripening peaches, the neighs of my great-uncle's horses from the field adjacent to our property. My grandfather took us fishing across the road at a neighbor's pond, with him while he transported cars for various dealerships (I got to see the Gulf Coast for the first time), and playing on my cousin's trampoline. It all feels like a lifetime ago...and yet still fresh. As the summer came to a close, we were given the option of staying with my grandparents and starting the school year there. My sister Mary chose to stay and I only went home because it was the year my baby sister, Sara, was beginning Kindergarten. I felt that she needed me there somehow and I missed my parents. So, homeward I went and as the school year began, I fell once more into the rhythm of things. It would be that winter however when my world started crumbling. My mother and I were standing in the kitchen when the phone rang and as I listened to her side of the conversation, I began to feel the knots of dread twisting in my stomach. After she had hung up and turned to deliver the news, the flood gate of tears burst open and I was inconsolable. My grandfather had cancer, but they were hopeful that they had caught it in time. Somehow though....I knew it was a death sentence and no amount of soothing words...no amount of prayer, could convince me otherwise. By that time the next year, he was gone and I'd lost one of the greatest friends I've ever had. Because of that, I think I chose to bury everything surrounding that time and so this morning, when the first remembrance popped into my head, I was a bit shocked and uncertain if I wanted to open that door. I am a little bittersweet about it still, but I know now, that I don't want to ever forget even the tiniest memory of any moment I spent with my grandfather.

I love you Pappaw and I miss you so much!


Angie Ledbetter said...

I miss my Pappy and Pawpaw too. Yours looks like a hard-working man full of strong opinions and love.

Anita said...

He was! He could be hard when he needed to be and didn't take anything from anyone, but then he was the same man that pretended to be asleep and let my cousin, my sister, and me put makeup and my Memaw's jewelry on him! He was great!