Stream of Consciousness Sunday From #TypeACon

Hello from Type A Conference. I’m LOVING having so many bloggers and friends in my fair city. I hope their experience in Atlanta is a good one.

I had the chance to attend a hands on session with Heather King and Vikki Reich on Friday and honestly, if it’s all I did this weekend, it was enough. Heather hosts Just Write on Tuesdays and it’s another free writing link up. If you’re interested in more free writing during the week, go join her!

In the session, we did a 5 minute writing exercise. I’m just going to share that with you today. Go write. Find whatever you’re thinking about and write it out.

Muah!

stream of consciousness sunday

Me: Grannie is going to die, baby. 

Henry: But will she still be at her house? 

Me: No. She will be in heaven. 

Henry: So does that mean she will be my angel? 

Me: Yes. Just like Charlie is. 

Henry: Oh good. I will like having two angels. 

Explaining death to a child isn’t easy. Luckily death has always been something we have discussed since our first son died. We have wanted Henry to know that death is ok and normal and everybody does it.

Death isn’t scary. Dying may be, but death is not.

Sitting in the room, knowing that any breath would be her last, I realized this. I realized that more than anything, HOW I will die is the most frightening part of the whole thing. I’m not afraid of where my body will be or where my soul will be.

I know that one day I will be holding my baby with my Grannie scratching my head again.

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

It Was A Good Day

Today, my family said final goodbyes to my Grannie, or Mollie as her parents named her. 

A longtime family friend spoke at her funeral. He promised her that he would and he makes good on his promises. Sunday, I sat down and just wrote. I poured out my words onto my computer and decided when I hit save, that I wanted to read this at her service. 

When Mr. Bruce Goddard was talking to us about the service, I told him I wanted to speak. He thought it was a good idea so we set it in stone. My only real anxiety was knowing that he was going to introduce me AND follow up my words with his own. I mean, he’s a former undertaker motivational speaker and super duper author

But I did it. 

Here are the words I chose to honor my Grannie. For those who didn’t know her, I hope this sheds light on what an amazing woman she was.

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How do you put 83 years into words? Well, since I can’t because I didn’t know her that long, how do you even put 37 years into words? I’m not sure I can do that either.

Some things like this leave you almost speechless.

I only knew my Grannie as Grannie. Others have been blessed to know her in different ways: Daughter, Sister, Friend, Mama, Great-Grannie, Miss Mollie, Aunt Mollie, Mr. Elmer’s wife, and hosts of other variations.

I can only speak as a grandchild, but I can tell you, she was one of the best!

As kids, we spent what seems like a lot of time with Grannie and Grandaddy. We spent nights on pallets, we spent mornings on pallets that had been moved to the living room for cartoons and Scooby Doo Coffee.

We were taken on the most wonderful adventures to places like Christmas Lane and putt putt in Warner Robins. Both are close, now that we’re adults, but then, in the big red Cadillac, they seemed like they were in Colorado.

They couldn’t take us on fancy vacations, and even if they could, I’m not sure they would have been any better. We went far, far away – usually to what is now the Eisenhower exit on 475 – to a hotel with a pool for the weekend. We ate dinner out and swam all day. We played putt putt (see a trend here?) and went bowling. And then piled back in the big red Cadillac and drove ALL THE WAY back to Reynolds.

Every time Grannie worked, it was “Take your grandchild to work day.” We spent countless hours on pallets in the Flint Electric dispatch office. We knew where she kept her change for the vending machines, we spent hours running and rolling chairs up and down the halls, we slept there during her overnight shifts, we learned to end our conversations with her mobile radio call sign.

In fact, that was burned in all of our memories so much, we have joked with her for years about signing off at her funeral by saying that. She always laughed!

There are so many things, really, about Grannie that we will remember her for: scratching our heads, making us hot water bottles when our tummies hurt or just because, Big Red Gum and Certs always being available, a fridge full of Cokes and cold candy bars, fussing at Grandaddy for this, that or the other thing he did that wasn’t her way. The ice cream and hamburger money that was sure to be slipped your way whenever you visited. The birthday cards, the anniversary cards, the Halloween and Valentine and St Patricks Day and every other holiday you can imagine cards that were always in the mail on the exact day they were supposed to be.

And come on. How many of YOUR grandmothers had a Christmas room?

Grannie taught us a lot, though. Whether she meant to or not, she taught us that being born to a family that struggled didn’t mean you were destined to a life of struggle. If you work hard, love big, and live simply, you can do almost anything you want.

She also taught us that if you wink at the judge who asks if you’re “really 17” you can get married at 16. But that’s a story for another day!

Grannie lived her life her way. She was brilliant at keeping score – whether it was at gin rummy, poker, or figuring out which grandchild had been to see her this quarter. She went to bed at midnight and slept until 11 just because she could. In spite of her aches and pains over the last however many years, she still loyally went to dinners with family and friends and kept her flowers and shrubs as tidy as any professional gardener would.

Three weeks ago, Grannie had a stroke that did more damage than her body could handle. But her mind was still sharp enough to get onto me when I said I kinda liked Steve Spurrier now that he was at South Carolina. She also pulled her hand away when asked to confirm that me and Chad were her favorite grandkids. She’s no dummy.

I could go on for hours. I know my other cousins could, too. We cherish memories of her that my mom and aunt don’t know about. We cherish memories of a different Grannie than our children ever knew. We have secrets that are different than the secrets she shared with Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Ruth or Aunt Rosa.

But now I choose to think of her happy and healed, watching us all from the most gorgeous place she could be. Heaven. Sitting atop a cloud, holding hands with Grandaddy and rocking our son, her great grandchild Charlie for me until I get there. If I had to guess, I will have a hard time getting him away from her loving arms even then.

We all love you, Grannie. And until we see you again… KIA341 Clear!

 

And if you want to see the video Mr. Bruce was talking about – Jimmy Valvano’s 1993 ESPY speech – here you go.

Laugh, Think, and Cry – Click here.

 

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Freeeeeeeee!

I’ve had a bit of a strange few weeks and have felt very discombobulated. I’m thinking right now I need a true brain dump. Whatcha think?

Today is FREE WRITING!

stream of consciousness sunday

I just set my timer for 5 minutes to write. I’m really dumping my brain tonight. But the tv is on and it’s kinda loud. I’m not turning it off though because Auburn football is about to come on and I don’t want to miss it. Truth be told, I’ll probably be in bed about midway through the 2nd quarter. I’m very tired.

This week has been hard and long. Next week stands to be harder but ends with the Type A conference. I’m quite excited about seeing my online friends in my own city. I can talk with my native twang without it being watered down!

Ooh, football is on. What in the WORLD is my kid watching on his computer? The music is horrendous.

I hate LSU. I sure hope we beat them tonight. But who knows. Also, have you noticed that Brad Nessler looks like Nick Saban’s fat uncle? He does. Look it up.

Seriously. I need to find out what Henry’s watching on the computer. Ugh.

Free write. Dump your brain. Free your mind. (and the rest will follow)

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

The In Between

The In Between

Right now, I’m sitting in the most wonderful place. This place may feel sad for some. It may make some angry. For others, like me, it’s incredibly peaceful and awe-inspiring.

I’m sitting in a room with my Grannie, listening to labored breathing, holding feverish hands, waiting for her last breaths to be taken.

I don’t want her to go. None of us do. We selfishly want to keep her here with us forever. But it’s her time. The stroke she had a few weeks ago was more than her little body could handle.

Hospice is a beautiful place.

IMG_7352

Sitting in this room makes me realize, though, that there is a very special place in this world. It’s the “In Between” and right now I’m sitting in it.

I’m physically sitting here with my mom and Grannie, all of our bodies snuggled safely in this room and cared for by doctors and nurses who only want comfort for the here and now and a peaceful transition to Heaven.

Surrounding us, there are “others” – the ones who protect us all daily. I don’t know who they are. Only Grannie does.

But I do know that I haven’t felt my Charlie’s presence this strongly in a really long time. I know he’s here in this room with us. He’s waiting to jump into his great-Grannie’s arms and be cuddled and rocked until I get there. My Grandaddy is waiting. He’s here, in this room, waiting patiently (like he always has) for her to be ready to reach out her arms to him and walk towards him.

We’re all here – our bodies and souls all swirling together for the last hours in this particular state, waiting for what’s next. Waiting for what’s after the “In Between.”

Breaking Out Of Writer’s Block

I figured it would be best to break out of my writer’s block by, well, writing about writer’s block. But I don’t really know what to say about writer’s block except that it sucks.

I reckon this post is an experiment to see if writing can actually break the cycle of not being able to get words out of my head and onto paper/this blog.

Three weeks ago, my Grannie had a stroke. After 9 days in the hospital, she was moved to Hospice. That’s where I’m sitting right now. Watching. Waiting. Listening. Remembering.

There’s so much in my head that I want to say. My heart has been so quiet and heavy, while my brain has been insanely busy and congested.

I’ve written some amazing posts in my head and even in vague, non-understandable notes in my journal during the 2 hour one way drive back and forth to visit my Grannie and to stay with my Mom overnight. But they haven’t gotten any further. My journal is a mess of pink sharpie scribble scrabble… words longing to jump out and be made into something pretty and readable.

Maybe now is the time to sit and translate them into real sentences.

Maybe it’s time to break out of that writer’s block and write.

Maybe I just did.

 

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