Put thanks in my glass
In the arms of your loved ones
It's the only home that lasts
Last Wednesday, my grandmother passed away. Granny, as we all called her, lived a long and enjoyable 89 years on this earth. She loved her family. She loved her friends. She had the same loyalties to family and friends that I see in my mother. Those are the same loyalties I try and follow every day.
My mom called me with tears in her eyes last Wednesday as I was driving back to North Carolina. What was supposed to be an easy going weekend in Atlanta and Jacksonville, turned into a difficult weekend. Despite the situation, we were surrounded with tons of family and friends. That made the weekend a little more tolerable.
As I was driving down to NC last week, I thought a lot about Granny and what all she had done for me. As I was running through moments in my head, one thing stuck out to me more than any other. Granny loved my grandfather, Pappy. I mean, LOVED him. She adored the ground that he walked on, as did he for her. Pappy passed away when I was in 5th grade. During the holidays or anytime Granny heard some big band music, she instantly thought of Pappy. Every time she talked about Pappy, it was beautiful. As I thought more and more about this on the road, it made me realize I want that feeling someday too. To be able to grow old with someone as special as they were to each other, it is just a remarkable thing.
We held a service on Saturday. On a cold autumn afternoon, with a Carolina blue sky, we listened as our old St. Leo's priest gave a moving sermon. Monsignor Showfety knew Granny, but not as well as the rest of us. Yet he still knew how important she was to all of us.
Granny was my last surviving grandparent. I look now and see what both of my parents have gone through, and it is their strength that keeps them going. I watched on as my dad consoled my mom, tears welling up in both of their eyes. It was a difficult weekend, but we helped each other.
While at home I had the chance to visit with friends. Thursday was a Halloween party at Good Ol Spring Street. Even though I wasn't up much for a party, it was good to see the old friends. My mouth dropped when I walked in the door and started starring at myself. Yes, Big Red won costume of the night by dressing up as ... me. Heather and JoJo got in the act as well, dressing up as previous flames. Ok, so maybe Red wasn't the costume of the night, but it sure made my night! I've now been a Halloween costume. Can many people say that?
It was good to see Erich and Jennifer as well. We sat and talked about family ... the ups and downs. There is something so peaceful about sitting and talking with those two. They are friends, but might as well be family.
So I'm back in Illinois today. First basketball exhibition tonight ... huge football game this weekend vs. Bowling Green ... Sunday will be the two year anniversary of Steph's passing. And as important and as hectic as work is right now ... it just seems like life sometimes is more important. Life, family and friends.