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I'm Mad Now!

I've heard that there are five stages of grief. Yesterday I was in the angry state.

I'm mad at Granny for dying. We had a deal -- she was supposed to live forever. Period. In my opinion, she didn't uphold her end of the bargain. Granny knew that I needed her. It wasn't like I hadn't already told her. How dare she take her leave! Just gave us two fingers to the wind and bounced.

What am I supposed to do? I've now joined the ranks of the grandmother-less generation. That's not cool. What's cool is having the oldest grandmother on the block. What's cool is being able to hear stories about my family and me from someone who'd actually been there to see it all. What's cool is having a grandmother to love me.

***The preceding was the irrational thoughts of a bereaved mind, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the management. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.***

My mind is flooded with memories of Granny. I'll share two of the most precious ones here today...

I was 24-years-old. My father's mother (Technically, she was my grandmother, but I'll explain that later.) had died in a horrible car accident, and I was helping my father, my sister -- whom I'd just met for the first time -- and my aunt and her evil daughter clean out her things. Since I'd only been at her house two other times in my life, I looked around in fascination at the pictures of my cousins that decorated her walls. As we worked, we came across a lonely little Polaroid stuffed in the back of a drawer. My father pulled it out and said, "Who is this child here?" I glanced and saw my three-year-old self standing there in a red-and-white gingham dress, white knee socks, and little brown shoes holding a fruit basket.

That picture was taken by a lady who was friends with both James' mother and Granny. I remember Ms. Hall telling me that she was taking it for my "other grandmother." I didn't know who this mystery person was, but I stood there looking as cute as possible.

Anyway, when I saw that picture, I was so devastated and hurt. I stuffed it in my purse, and then called my mom to come and get me. When we got back to Granny's house, I showed her the picture and told her story of how it was found. She gave me and hug and said, "Well, if they don't want you, you know Granny will always love you."

Fast forward to 2005. I'm now in my 30s and living in New York. I had come home for Christmas, and we weren't not doing anything special, but we -- my mom, my uncle, my brother, my niece, and Granny -- were together. Granny was in the bed and I was sitting there talking to her when she asked the question that keeps single people away from family gatherings -- "When are you getting married?"

I've always hated that question and others like it. It's like no matter whatever else you've accomplished, some people act like if you're not linked up with someone with at least one extra mouth to feed, you're not really living.

Anyway, I was telling her that I hadn't really met anyone who was marriage material, and I wasn't willing to settle for anything less. She was like, "Well, I can understand that. Young women these days have a whole lot more to deal with than I did coming up." And I climbed up in the bed with her while she shared with me from her vast knowledge about men, life, and other stuff. Unlike a lot of people, she didn't make me feel inferior because I still had my maiden name. Instead, we just discussed what was going on my life. When she finally got tired, I got out of bed and let her sleep.

It's times like these -- and too many others to mention -- that I'll miss.


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