My grandmother was the most important person in the world to me, and this loss is so profound I know I will feel it for the rest of my life. But greater than the feeling of loss is my gratitude, thankfulness, and amazement that I had such a magnificent human being in my life, even for too short a time, and that she LOVED me.
I have wonderful memories of our time together. My summers with Grandmama and James were the happiest times of my life. She let me be free. I was allowed to set up shop in the living room, create my own "kitchen," with all her pots, pans, and ice-cube trays and all manner of beans (mostly black-eyed peas). I got to wear my "clickers" (very loud, shiny, fancy black shoes) when I was about three years old all over the house, happily making lots of noise on the wooden floors, because of my very tolerant grandmother. I have fantastic food memories. We had a mutual love of Nancy Drew. I spent countless hours reading out loud to her, and it would invariably lull her to sleep. (At least I hope that's why she fell asleep!) We had a blast together this New Year's Eve watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin as the ball dropped. And whenever I hear Billie Holiday I think of Grandmama, because Grandmama sang like Billie, only better. I will miss hearing her call me "My Sweetheart."
I had a phenomenal grandmother, and I hope she knew how much she means to me. She was LOVED.