Greenville, Mississippi is a unique place. It's where I grew up. A place I left; a place I escaped. There's no where on earth you will see plants grow faster or greener, or eat better food, or see a greater separation of classes. It's rich and poor at opposite ends of the spectrum. But as I went back this past weekend, the one thing that stuck with me was the water.
Greenville has brown water. They say it's from cypress swamps it passes through in the aquifer. Also, it is the softest water. Soap lathers like no other and it seems there is nothing you can do to get it off. Being away, you forget these things. And yet, in coming home, you remember them as clear as yesterday.
I went back for my Mema's funeral. A day I thought was years away. My grandmother was a healthy 81 years old. She did more than a lot of my friends. And I guess when your parents or grandparents get older you just think they will deteriorate until a point and then they will just pass away. And you'll have time to prepare. Time to say your goodbyes.
I didn't get a goodbye.
She had made a trip to see my aunt, Linda, for a couple of weeks. She had been there when Allyn had her surgery. Ben had spoken to her after the procedure because she wanted to check on her and thought I would just say everything was fine. We had planned on her making a trip up to see us sometime this summer. I called her the following weekend and didn't get an answer. I decided I would just call her when she got back to Greenville. She never made it home. Last weekend she started feeling ill. She came down with something suddenly, got really sick and then got an infection that ultimately shut down all of her organs. Her passing was quick, and I hope without too much pain.
We buried her on Saturday. I was sad, but ultimately also at peace. Mema had an amazing life. Her presence was positive and calming. And she was a caretaker. So God's plan for her was the best. She never had to have someone care for her and she never was forced to stop doing the things she loved. She LIVED up until almost the very last moment that she didn't. And for that I am grateful.