Ruby hamming it up with Mamma
Mamma with her sisters Eppy on left, Casita on right, brother Marsall and Virilo
My cute Uncle Marsall
I arrived back from Florida late last night with Ruby. The last five days I spent with my family at my Aunt Yvonne's house surrounding my grandmother with broken hearts and nostalgic yearnings of old days past. I have a HUGE family on my mothers side the Perez family. My grandmother has 11 brothers and sisters and five are alive and well. My grandmothers two sisters have been with her these past few months before she took a turn for the worse. When she was rushed to the hospital a couple of weeks ago she sent for her brothers both came to see her along with grandchildren and nieces and nephews and so many friends. At one time I counted 23 of us all in the house at the same time. We surrounded her with care, love, prayers and songs. We grew up Pentecostal, went to pentecostal churches and our old roots runs through us. So when there are songs to be sang about Jesus its hard to keep our bodies still so can you imagine what it looked like when we were given tambourines and shakers to sing with my grandmother in her bed?! Some time my grandmother would not talk and other times she would repeat herself over and over and we would pretend it was the first time we heard what she had to say. My grandmother would tell everyone that came to visit her, and there were tons of people coming in and out, that I am like a daughter to her. Its true I spent my youth in my grandmothers house, I called her to pick me up every day and she did! My parents did live five minutes away :)! So we are VERY close.
One afternoon she kept repeating the names of the couple that gave me airlines miles to go see her she kept saying Alex and Shelley's name over and over and when I asked her what she was doing she said she was praying for them. We had a revival on Saturday night my Uncle Marsall is an evangelist and fasted all day for a message for the evening. We all gathered to hear the words he prepared and to sing as we celebrated my grandmothers life. It was peaceful and aching all at the same time.
We had moments where I thought I would laugh until I cried, knowing the laughter was good medicine. And moments like on Saturday night when I had to say Good bye for good. I will try to explain in words what its like to say good bye to someone who is awake and can understand what you are saying. You both know that you know. Its like a cloud of uncertainty all around. We know heaven is near, but when right when I leave, as I am talking to her? I looked in her eyes and said "Mamma its time for me to go...." She looked at me with the saddest eyes and like a small child responded with "Why?" "I have to go back home to my family..." She then kept asking random things like a child would ask when you are tucking them to sleep to keep you in the room. She would ask things like the clothes size of my kids, she wanted me to go through a ginormous stack of old recipes, old photos, it took two hours of procrastination and I could see she was getting tired. So I kissed her on her sweet forehead caressed her thinning grey hair sobbed on her chest, dried her tears as she wiped mine ,covered her frail body with a soft blanket and exited the room. I remember this feeling only it stings a little deeper, its as if its opened old wounds of grief. I wish at times I could love with a distant heart so that not to hurt this badly, but I was not formed that way. I like her Love with Everything in me!