My mamaw passed away today. She was 80 years old. She had Alzheimer’s and leukemia, and it is with the latter that she likely lost her fight. She was married for nearly 60 years, had 6 children, 24 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. I am the oldest of those grandchildren, and today I feel so lucky to have known my grandmother for 31 years. Her passing was something that we knew was coming, probably this year, but today, I am not feeling relief that we won’t have to watch her waste away they way we had to with her sister who died of the same disease. I am sad and feeling stuck in New York when I want to be home in Texas with all of my family around me.

I was supposed to head home for Easter in order to see her, because we knew she wasn’t doing well. Right now, I’m glad that my last memories are from Christmas. She was happy and loving and, yes, sometimes confused. She wasn’t sick, though. At least not visibly. I was able to sit with her. She sang her favorite Christmas songs, and we all got to hear that beautiful voice singing to the Lord she loved. I hate writing all of this in the past tense. I am still processing her death. I want to write something beautiful, something moving for her. But I can’t right now. So in honor of my grandmother, my mamaw, I’m going to give you this picture of her with my dad. She is so young, vibrant and happy, and I will let those thousand words say what I cannot right now.

My mamaw with my dad
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