Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Closing Chapters

I've been thinking about this post for a couple of weeks now. Two weeks I got the news that my sweet great grandmother passed away.  My mom called me earlier in the week warning me that this news could be coming any day, so I was prepared for the news but its always sad.  My brother and I flew down from Salt Lake to Memphis on Saturday morning for the funeral on Sunday. 

Saturday was pretty uneventful as the Smith kids arrived from opposite ends of the country.  Sunday we all got dressed to make the hour and a half drive from my grandfather's house in New Albany, Mississippi.  To the town where he grew up and where my great grandparents lived the majority of their lives, West Point, Mississippi.  As we were driving down I was wondering to myself why I wasn't sadder.  This amazing lady was now gone from my life, there are so many things ahead for myself, my brothers, and her 15 other great grandchildren that she and will not get to be physically present.  About 5 seconds after having that thought, I couldn't help but think how selfish that was.  You see my grandma (Nanny) passed away in 1999 and every day since then my Granny has had to live without her daughter.  Every Christmas she would tell us how proud Nanny would be of all of us grand kids and you could see it in her face just how much it hurt.  Last May, my Granddaddy Southern passed away.  He and Granny Southern had been married for 72 years, I can't imagine what it was like for her to miss him then too. 

So instead of feeling sad for my loss, I felt overwhelmingly happy for her gain.  She is now in heaven looking down on all of us and spending time with her sweet husband and daughter.  I am so grateful for everything that she taught me, she was such a strong woman and always spoke her mind.  I'll always remember sleeping over at her house and hearing and smelling the sausage, eggs, and biscuits cooking around 5 am, a little early for us kids!  It makes me a little sad that I won't ever hear her say "DUNN" when my Uncle Don walks into the house.  It will be so strange this year not to drive to Calhoun Street for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I think that we always know in a rational sense that some life chapters are coming to an end, but I am not sure anyone is really ever ready for that to happen.  It's such a bittersweet feeling.  But I think that it is important to remember that closing chapters are opportunities for growth and not something to hold on too so strongly that you cannot move forward.

We'll miss you Granny, but we know that you are looking down on us, having a great time with Nanny, and probably nagging Grandaddy about something!