The Greatest Miracle is That We’ll See Her Again

Jan 08

The Greatest Miracle is That We’ll See Her Again

The week before Christmas I found out my grandmother was in the hospital with double pneumonia. I’d started working a part-time job to jump off our savings account for our Serenity Project and didn’t have enough money for a plane ticket home. My mom and brother kept me updated on the situation and by that weekend it was clear she wasn’t going to be returning from the hospital.

I let our son know as soon as I did about her condition and he was able to arrange a week off work and received a generous blessing from a complete stranger who gave him gas and food money to get back to Georgia. William has moved another day’s drive further west so he drove just over eight hours, dropped his benefactor off in Austin, then picked me up in San Antonio. I took most of the money out of the Serenity Project bank account for the trip.

We left on a Saturday night and reached the hospital on Sunday evening. I broke down when I saw her. Family that had been with her was coming and going and I just wanted to yell at them to leave me alone with her. There was so much I wanted to say to her. I wanted to tell her about the new job and the people I’d met. I wanted to tell her about seeing the sunrise over the Mississippi River that morning. I wanted her to wake up, to look at me, to speak to me one more time.

Our last conversation had been just before Thanksgiving. I knew she was going to spend Thanksgiving in Atlanta with my aunt and uncle, so I wanted to call her before the holiday. I don’t remember much of the conversation. I thought I’d speak with her again the next week. I tried to call her every Sunday. I know she wanted us to come home for Christmas. She always wanted us to come home and hated that we’d moved. But then she hated it when we moved an hour away to Alabama. She just wanted her family nearby, like most grandmothers do.

I spent most of Sunday night and Monday night at the hospital, just being in her room, visiting with my mom and the other family members. I watched my Paw Paw, her husband of 66 years, talk to her and kiss her cheek and ask my mom when she’d be coming home. She had to tell him more than once, “Daddy, Mama’s not going to come home.” She also told him, “We need a miracle, but the greatest miracle is that we’ll see her again.”

Bits of info about my Maw Maw:

  • We share a middle name. She, my mom and me all have the middle name Lyvon.
  • She made awesome banana pudding.
  • She knew how to grow a flower and vegetable garden.
  • She only had sisters – no brothers.
  • She taught me how to roll out cookie dough.
  • She babysat William often.
  • She always had brushes, combs and rubber bands to give me from her days working at Goody Products.
  • She’s never fixed her own hair that I remember. She went to the beauty parlor every week to get her hair done.

On Sundays, I want to call and speak to her. I try to remember her voice. I miss her very much. But I know, without any doubt, I will see her again.

Obituary for Joyce Thompson




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