Have you ever given a child a piece of candy and the next time that same child comes back for more candy? Well I was that child to Mrs. W who was living in the nursing home next to our town park that I frequented often by myself. I think I might have been 8 years old or so. She was a rocking lady too. She escaped the nursing home at least 3 times a day. She would go to the same spot and eat the peppermint candies the nurse had bought her a bag of. I got the best stories from her. I had to introduce myself a couple times, but it seemed like we picked up right where we left off. I began coming to see her all the time. She introduced me to all her friends, they would sit around and listen to me try to play songs on the piano in the middle of the center. It never failed, I would turn around and the room would echo back the loud clapping. It was like a candy store to me because I got candy from all my friends every time I came. The nurses let me go free range. I knew everyones name…. and the best part everyone knew mine. Then there was Mrs. A who lived in my dads rental house. She had the biggest tree on the whole block. It was very shady and jungle looking. A branch fit perfectly for my bottom and my back and head rest exactly as needed for me to sit back and read a 600 page book. She was bed ridden Mrs A… She was over 500 pounds. She says I saved her but truthfully she saved me as Mrs. W had passed away a couple months before. I would sit in her house and we would play cards, eat chocolate that she sent me to the store to buy. We would watch tv, and listen to music. It was her that introduced me to classical music. I got to be her best friend, only friend until she passed away two years after I moved to Denver. I couldn’t make it to her funeral. I feel her spirit though. Sometimes in the wind, or when I see the earths bountiful beauty.
Today, as we three sat at the kitchen table reading poems of hers, listening to her favorite songs and getting music for her playlist. Hearing them type and read out obituary. I broke down so many times today, but more when the music of old gospel hymns filled the air. I saw pictures of her when she was younger. I saw her smile so brightly in a picture, more so than I have ever witnessed since I became to know her. I feel her spirit still it fills our home as I type this out. I hear today how she was a writer like myself. I saw her commas and placement of sentences and they are a lot like mine. I am sad, that it took her death for me to know these wonderful things about her. I am sad that I never got to sit down and have a cup of tea and laugh and talk about her life. I am sad that our conversations were always one sided. I am sad that I never got the chance to hear her voice. Even after hearing she was a terrible singer, I would have done anything to hear her sing something to me. Or sing something to Z my son. He is devastated. I am still debating on rather or not to take him to the funeral. Every time for some reason when we would walk in Grandma N’s room, as soon as he started talking she wanted to see him and tried to pry open her crusted over eyes with her fragile hands shaking and thin looking. He loved hugging her. He loved reading to her. He would always kiss her forehead and play with her hair, just like I have always done. He has my heart, my son. He has a passion for old folks. As every body knew him at the nursing home, they would roll their wheelchairs toward us and he would hug all of them. No one was left behind when it came to his hugs. They would ask if we would be sitting by the big fish tank sitting room every single time. His and T’s my other sons favorite place to hang out. His favorite thing is to wheel them where they needed to go when we were about to leave. Yes he has the same heart as I. We will rejoice with tears of joy as we say our goodbyes instead of tears of sadness. For I may be sad about many things, one thing I am not sad about is that she is finally at peace. She is with her loved ones that have gone before her. I am happy knowing that her passionate singing voice will be forever beautifully sung to the one above all and heard over all the angels. I am happy she is forever young, never knowing then or now what pain even is. I am happy that she can do her favorite thing, be with our heavenly father and praise and rejoice with him every single moment till infinity. I am happy that she gets to see what heaven looks like, and she gets to explore indefinitely how beautiful it looks and feels like. Her fear was chained to the earth, left behind when she left her body behind to go soar with the angels. Her soul is flying so high and so bright that we will all think its a star up there. So will I be sad when we say our goodbyes? No, I do not believe I will. She would be disappointed in me. In all of us really. She is free. We love you and will miss you Grandma N. T, S, Z, TT
Tasha Geller-Hollingshead ©copyright 2016