Wednesday, October 8, 2008

In Remembrance

This photo was taken a couple of months before she became ill. It is the last picture of her and I together.

This day marks the fourth anniversary of the passing of my grandmother, my Meme. She lost the battle to pancreatic cancer and being there, holding her hand, when she passed was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I couldn't tell if she wanted to stay with her family, which were packed so tightly in her room in the ICU during those final moments, or if she was ready to break free from the pain and begin her journey to whatever is next. I know she'd missed my Papa dearly, who had passed 5 years earlier. She hadn't been the same Meme since Papa died, but she was still a tough as friggin nails. Never losing her grace under pressure; she was the glue that held our family together.

She taught me so many wonderful things throughout my childhood and early adulthood, and I attribute much of my attitude to her. She had an opinion about everything and was never too shy to say so. She always gave people the benefit of the doubt and helped any way she could. She called me her "professional student" because I had changed my major in college so many times, I could've held several degrees by then. I think she would be very proud of me now, seeing what I've gone through and accomplished, and come out of it a smarter, better, more determined woman. She taught me to be a lady, albeit a feisty lady. She had words of wisdom that resonate within me still and today I can hear her say, "Melissa, come here and sit next your Meme. Tell me what's going on with you."

She taught me so much, but some of the most important lessons I remember are: don't take shit from anybody; stand behind your family no matter how much you disagree with them; never put anything in your Crown but ice or water; never leave the house without your face on; stockings should be worn in lieu of panties (to avoid lines and smooth your curves, of course); blondes have more fun; medium rare is enough for a steak; respect your family; love your sister, one of these days, you'll be best friends (she was right, of course); you can never eat too many crab legs; the faster the boat, the better; keep your hands off the clean glass doors (oh man, I can still hear her bitching about that); and be your own person.

I cannot express into words how much I miss her. She was such an influential part of my life. I commemorated her life with mine, so in celebration of her marriage to my Papa, I got married on the same day…46 years later. My marriage did not last, but the memory of that honor to her and my Papa will always be a part of me. I do not regret it for a moment.

Thank you, Meme, for helping me become the woman I am today and showing me that you can still be a lady and kick some ass. You and Papa are dearly missed. I love you.

No comments: