Tuesday, May 25, 2010
"To be absent from the body, is to be present in the LORD"
Blanch Hanna, known to me as Great-Grandma Hanna (technically my husbands great-grandma), had been alive for almost 91 years. What I didn’t know about her was a lot, and what I did know about her were these few facts:
She survived the loss of three of her six children. She loved butterflies and hummingbirds (or at least she liked to collect figurines of them). She did not have a big wedding; She spontaneously eloped on a road trip and stayed married for over 50 years. She survived the death of her road trip partner and had been widowed for more than 20 years. She loved coffee, costume jewelry, church, books, and See's Candy. She once took in her rebellious teenage granddaughter to live with her.
It is safe to assume that she knew and loved many people throughout the 90 plus years she spent on planet earth. So when she chose the people who were to surround her on her deathbed, it was no surprise to me that she picked her formerly rebellious teenage grand-daughter, Diana, my mother-in-law. What did surprise me is that her great grand-children and their spouses, who barley knew her at all, got to share in her death as well. It could have been her three remaining children. It could have been the nurses at the hospital. But she chose us. We weren't there when she was born. We weren’t there when she got married, had her children, or celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary. But we were there for her last breath. We were there when she experienced uninterrupted peace, flew with angels, and met God face to face.
Monday, May 3, 2010
“I love you, you’re the ONE” he said.
“I love you too.” I lied. He kissed me and left for work. Maybe it was my own guilty conscience, but something about that phrase coming from his mouth was simply inconceivable. I had done nothing to deserve this man, I met him at my drunken divorce party just two weeks prior to this little love confession for goodness sakes!
One week later on Memorial Day weekend, he moved in. He needed a place to stay temporarily, and I needed another roommate to split the rent with. I knew he was safe enough to live in my apartment, and to be around my daughter, I could feel it. When I would come home from work every night, there he was, sitting on my couch in his pajamas. “I love you,” he’d say to me with the ease of someone who had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
“I love you too.” I’d lie as I secretly questioned his motives. I wondered how soon it would be until this Prince Charming façade wore off and he moved out.
“I don’t like that you have to work so late at night, when are you going to quit your job, and let me pay the bills?” When Hell freezes over, I thought.
One week later we go on our first official date: CALICO Ghost Town. Yes, I said CALICO. Not a typical first date, but keep in mind that he first and foremost wanted to impress my 20 month old daughter. Mission accomplished.
After CALICO, we head to his Grandparents house. I am uneasy. It is nearly summertime in the desert and I am dressed in very short shorts and a very small tank top…….not my best Grandparent introduction attire. After being warmly welcomed into their home, Grandma gives my daughter a journal and a marker to color with. When she is done coloring Grandma says, “I’ll keep this picture to show you one day when you get older.” Then she looks me in the eye, and gives me a little smile. My palms get sweaty and my heart begins to race, and then, a revelation: Grandma is going to watch my daughter grow up, and so is her grandson.
“I love you, you’re the ONE!” I say to him as we are driving home from his grandparents house.
“Ya, I know, that’s what I’ve been telling you all along. What took you so long?”
Happy (early) 6th anniversary to a man that I am more sure about everyday……And Happy Birthday Grandma Sandridge, who knew my fate even before I did.