Thursday, May 14, 2009

April 11 -- 5 years

Please forgive me for this being posted over a month late... The blogging has been slack lately, and I'm trying to play catch up here... This especially has been a difficult post for me to write I've had so many thoughts about this swirling around in my head lately, and its been so hard to sit down and type them all out, but I felt that this was just way too important to let go without a proper post of its own. 

April 11 marked 5 years since my Grandma Nellie passed away.  It seems just like yesterday when we got the call around 3am on Easter Sunday that she had passed away and we needed to go to the hospital.  We all got in Daddy's truck and drove quickly to the hospital, but the drive seemed like forever.  My most distinctive memory of the drive is that Brad Paisley's song "Little Moments" was playing on the radio.  Why I remember these things, I will never know.  That song took on a whole new meaning at that moment... because it was the "Little Moments" that flooded my thoughts.  The small things that my Grandma did to add her flair to things.  She'd cook for us on our birthdays... she wouldn't just put money in a card... she's give us a bouquet of balloons that we had to pop to get the money out... or she would fold up the money in shapes for us... For the longest time after that I could not listen to that song... and even when I hear it now, all of the emotions of that early morning in April come flooding back. 

When I walked into the hospital that morning, my first thought was "I have to play the flute at her funeral..." That terrified me.  Grandma had always said that she wanted Jay Tripp to play "Beulah Land" on the saxophone at her funeral.  Once in church, we played the song together, me on the flute, him on the sax... after that, she told me that she wanted us to play it together at her funeral.  I had no idea that it would be so soon.  Surprisingly, I was able to pull it together to play at the funeral.

Once everyone returned to my Granddaddy's house later that morning, I witnessed something that I had never seen before, and something that to this day still rocks me to the core.  Upon entering the house... the house that he shared with my Grandma for over 45 years... the house in which they raised 2 children and then welcomed 3 grandchildren, my Granddaddy BROKE DOWN.  Seeing a grown man cry always shakes me up... but to see one of the strongest men that you've ever known, a man of little expressed emotions bawling at the loss of his wife is an experience beyond words. 

All of the events surrounding the wake, the funeral, the burial and all of the visitors passed as somewhat of a blur.  I also remember seeing my Daddy cry for the first time that weekend  Again, the experience of seeing him express emotions was something I'll always remember.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my Grandma.  There are so many things that I miss about her.  She was one of the most selfless people I have ever met.  One of my most treasured possessions is a set of pillows that she made for my freshman dorm room, and she finished them just a few days before she went into the hospital for the final time.  There are so many things that I wish she could have been here for.... so many memories over the last 5 years that have her missing in them.  Hopefully she's looking down and smiling on her girls and the young women that they have become. 

It's hard to say goodbye
Her picture in my mind
Will always be of times I'll cherish
And I won't cry 'cause

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

(Alan Jackson -- "Sissy's Song")


  1. Crystal,
    I am so sorry. I lost my Grandmother in 2005 and as I sit here typing this tears are streaming down my face. You put into words exactly how I feel. I'm sorry that you know how much it hurts to lose someone you love so much. It is so hard to try and remember all the happy times, and all the beautiful things about her without being sad because she is not here. We are better people for having such beautiful women in our lives and I will be eternally grateful for that.


    -Jenn (iheartreading)

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. My best friend passed away this past Easter morning. And funny but my brother told me I should look for and play Sissy's Song by Alan Jackson...I've yet to find it or listen to it. Now I must.




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