I love each season equally, but as it nears October, I always get a little excited about the fall. Each season brings different elements that I love and that I find comfort in. Fall is one that I feel is celebratory. It's a time for family... the beginning of the holiday season, football games, and layers of clothes (namely a chance to wear jackets!). While this year will still bring beautiful fall-colored leaves and windy days, I know it will be slightly different. I have thought a lot about it for some reason today. Maybe because I have spent time working to prepare the house for the cool weather and because my husband has planted himself in front of the TV for football games. I'm not sure why it has been on my mind... but it has. It has probably been on my mind because October really kicks off the three-month period that I see my grandparents the most in. We spend October celebrating birthdays; November celebrating Thanksgiving; and, of course, December celebrating Christmas. It's really the only time that I KNOW I will spend with my grandparents each year. And this year, it will be different because I have one less grandparent.
Really, I think I have just thought more about Granny in particular today. She really seemed to love the holidays and the baking that went along with them. She could fix the best pies, candies, and cakes. I can hardly think of a food that I would like to eat that I don't think of her. She was the queen of comfort food. I know that with time things will be easier... and I know that it's all part of the process. I can remember dreading Christmas after papaw died... the same after Rick died. It's just that time of the year when you want to have everyone you love with you. And it will be different, I know. The fantasy that it will never change is just a fantasy, and I know that too. But, it's hard to think of a Christmas without my granny force-feeding us and yelling for me to cater more to Brad. :) She will most certainly be missed... as will the pumpkin pie, deviled eggs, and fried corn. Oh... and the coconut cream pies...
The shopping trips have already been missed for a while. I don't think I'll ever look at purses, shoes, or baby clothes without thinking about granny, especially at Elder-Beerman or Macy's. It's already hard to hear a Johnny Cash song or to see Andy Griffith without thinking of Matlock, Perry Mason, and Murder She Wrote. Even the Star and Enquirer magazines at the grocery store make me think of her. I just cannot imagine how my Papaw must feel. I can't imagine how my mom must feel. I was with my granny for small amounts of time, usually around the holidays, not everyday or even every month. It breaks my heart to know that they are hurting and I can't do anything to help.
Death never makes sense. We all want more time... more chances to say what we think or feel. Or just to share one more meal. But... we don't always get that. I think sometimes death makes us remember to cherish everything a little bit more. I think I take the time to cherish my babies a lot, but I also know that I get worked up about things that are out of my control, and sometimes not worth my energy. I am working on that... I'm trying to take the only piece of advice that I can ever remember my granny giving me (besides the time that she tried to give me instructions on cooking fudge and forgot to tell me a KEY step, resulting in me melting a plastic spoon and throwing chocolate/peanut butter mix all over my kitchen). The one conversation that she and I had that made the most impact was when she told me that she regretted spending so much time on cleaning and working and not enough on enjoying her life. She told me not to work so hard and to take time to enjoy life a little more... not to follow in her path. It's genetic for me to want to go full speed all the time. I see it in my mom, I see it in Bailey. It's just part of us. And I am SO proud that I have that energy. But she's right. We do need to take more time to enjoy things and stop rushing our way through them. It passes way too quickly.
It wasn't brilliant advice, I know. Nothing that I haven't heard before. But that one conversation has meant more to me now than just about any other. She was not an emotional woman... yet, she opened up that day. It was one of the only times I can ever remember seeing her open... truly and emotionally open. And I'm glad I didn't forget it... I cherished it.
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