In late October of last year, a friend of my grandmothers passed away. Lately, it seems as though a lot of her friends/acquaintances are passing yet she remains standing. At 85 she has persevered through health challenges of her own and lives to tell about it. Yet recently, she’s been in a fog thinking about how blessed she is to be alive and now closer she is to the grave. Her words, not mine. Now here we are not even a full month into 2018 and the husband of that woman, my grandfather’s best friend has passed away as well.
My dad had a family cookout Labor Day weekend. Every time my siblings are together, we have to snap a picture. It’s 5 of us, and for all of us to be together at once, it’s a big deal. I cherish every time we are. This time was no different. We ate, we danced, and then came the photos. This one in particular we took in the sunlight and my grandmother was in it as well. I currently have it hanging on the wall in my living room.
My grandma being the doting grandma she is just had to show off the picture at church. Most of the people there know all of my siblings. My sister and I grew up just a part of everything you can imagine and my grandmother has taken all 3 of my younger siblings at one point or another.
The couple that I mentioned in the beginning wanted a picture. My grandmother relayed the message and I said okay, I need ink. She went out and got the ink, not waiting on me to get it myself. I kept saying for a week or so, I’ll print, I’ll print it. No worries. I finally printed it, gave it to her, and she gave it to them saying they were happy to have it. The woman said she framed it already and walks past it on a daily basis. Not even a month after she received the photo her health took an unexpected drastic turn and she passed away. Just a few months later, her husband of 60+ years passed as well. He was 91 and many can say it was just old age. I believe it was a broken heart. She was his life.
I give that long story to say don’t always push off today for tomorrow. I know the cliche, tomorrow isn’t promised, but it truly isn’t. When the woman passed, my grandmother kept saying, I’m happy they got the picture. If I would’ve put it off and off and off, she would’ve said, “they never got the picture.” I’m glad to have printed it in hindsight. Here we are in a digital age where most people just keep everything on their phones. I didn’t see the big deal of printing the picture, but my grandmother kept insisting. It’s a good thing she did.
I think of my grandfather’s best friend and how sweet he was. Anytime he saw me he would always ask not just how I was doing, but when I was getting married. I thought of it as a running joke because I doubt he knew I was in a steady relationship. Do people still refer to relationships that way? He always told my grandmother how much he missed my grandfather. I know I sure do. June will be 12 years since he passed away.
So here we are in 2018. I feel as though the people that are passing away are hitting closer and closer to home. Every time my grandmother asks me for something I just think of this particular scenario and add a sense of urgency. She’s not rushing me by any means, but I’m not going to let weeks on end pass and not doing something that’ll take me just minutes.