Monday, November 17, 2008

A Tribute

My great-grandmother passed away about a month before my 10th birthday. She had suffered from two strokes, the second one left her unable to speak and, as far as my family knew, unable to recognize any of us. But I think that was able to recognize me, at least for a moment. I stood by her hospital bed and she looked me right in the eyes. She reached out to me and touched my hand. I remember being a little spooked. I think it was because of the look in her eyes. They were so sad, like maybe she knew that she was going but she didn't want to go just yet. A few days later, she was gone.

Fast forward twenty years later. Yesterday, my mom told me that an old family friend, Mrs. B., was really sick and I told her that I would stop by. Mrs. B. had been sick with cancer for 5 years now, so her being sick wasn't a surprise. But how bad she had gotten was a surprise. I walked in totally unprepared. I did not realize that she was so close to death. She so tired and weak, could barely talk. She was able to recognize me though, she called me by name. But she stared at me, in almost the same way as my great-grandmother. I was taken aback, because I knew in that moment that Mrs. B. did not have much longer to live. I fought to hold back my tears, but not hard enough. I had to leave and cry it all out. I came back a little later with my mother, but she was sleeping and we wanted her to get some much needed rest. But, unfortunately, she didn't wake up. Mrs. B. left us at 2:30pm, Sunday afternoon.

This woman was more than just a friend to my family, she and her family truly was an extension to my family. I have so many wonderful childhood memories of her. She was like the den mother of the neighborhood. She was always looking out for us. You don't neighbors like that too much anymore. People tend to move much more often these days.

Mrs. B will definitely be missed by anyone that was fortunate to have known. I miss her already.