Sunday, February 17, 2013

A week home

It's been a week since my Grandma passed, and as I lie in bed at my parent's house in North Carolina, I have all sorts of emotions running through my mind. Feelings of loss, feelings of regret, feelings of worry about my mom, and feelings of emptiness. You never think you're going to lose a family member, especially one you grew up with and who helped raise you. But, it's inevitable. You just have to remember that they're in a better place, and keep their memory close to your heart. That's what I'm trying to do. And, although, it may be difficult, you have to remember that life goes on. 

Tinley and I have spent a wonderful week in North Carolina. We flew down last Tuesday, along with Justin, and arrived at my parents Tuesday evening. My mom's brother, my uncle, and aunts and cousins were awaiting our arrival also. We spent the evening talking and laughing and looking at old pictures of my Grandma. The service was held on Wednesday morning, in our small hometown of Wilson, NC. My Grandma lived there for 60 years, it's where my mom was raised, and it's where I was born and lived for the first 3 years of my life. My Grandma wanted to be buried next to her parents, so we honored her wishes. It was a small service, mostly family and friends, and some of her bridge friends that are still living, but I think it's exactly what she would've wanted. Afterwards, a group of us had lunch at Bill's B-B-Q, the epitome of the south. I did Grandma proud, and had 2 platefuls of B-B-Q, fried chicken, slaw, collard greens, mashed potatoes, hush puppies, green beans, and the best banana puddin' you've ever tasted. Justin even tried fat back, which I know she would've smiled about. Everyone always said she made the best fat back, even for breakfast. :o) 

Justin left early Thursday morning to return home but I am so very grateful and glad he was there for me and my family. He is simply the most supportive and loving husband, and I am so, so lucky. Yes, I realize it was Valentine's Day, but to us, it's just another day... we decided to skip it this year. Mom, Tinley, and I had a delicious lunch at Macaroni Grill, and then ran a few errands, and ended the night with a family dinner, something that doesn't happen often at my parent's house, but is always nice when it does. There's just something about family dinners that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :o)

Early Friday morning, my mom, Tinley, and I left for Wilmington, which is where I grew up. It's about a 2 hour drive. One of my best girlfriends from high school was having a baby shower on Saturday, and I was surprising her! :o) We met my mom's friend, and my old dance teacher, and one of my best friend's mom, Mrs. Candy, and my other "grandma" Mary for lunch at my all-time favorite restaurant downtown Wilmington, Elijah's. I stuffed my face with crab dip and sweet tea. (I'm really getting spoiled being home with all this good, southern food. I'm going to have to go on a diet when I get home!) Afterwards, we enjoyed a walk by the Cape Fear River, had a photo shoot (imagine that!), and then visited a few of my favorite boutiques in Wrightsville Beach. Of course, Tinley racked up! There's nothing like a good, southern boutique with cute smocked dresses for baby girls. Agh, I love it. We stayed the night at my grandparent's house, where they cooked my mom and I dinner. Our good family friend, Woody, also came over for dinner, and we talked, laughed, and reminisced. It was a great night. 

Saturday morning, my mom and I were up early to pack the car so we could head back to Raleigh after the shower. They were calling for snow (GASP!) and we didn't want to hit any bad weather on the drive home. We had a great time at the shower, and it was so good to see so many of my high school best friends. One of my girl friends, Kelly, also has a daughter, Mackenzie, who is a day younger than Tinley (no, we didn't plan it!), and it was so cute to see them meet for the first time. I only wish we could be closer so we could have many more play dates because they played so good together. Every time I get together with my group of old girl friends, it's like no time has gone by. They are true friends, and that is so rare. I miss them all dearly. My mom, Tinley, and I left the shower and headed back to Raleigh Saturday afternoon, where we did run into some bad weather, but I kept reminding her: "I live in Ohio Mom, this is nothing. If you need me to drive, I will." She drove the whole way home. :o) That night, we met my best friend, Nicole, and her finace, Brandon for Mexican, and once again, talked, laughed, and reminisced on some fun times. She is like my sister, and I miss her more than words can say. 

Sunday morning, we had a play date scheduled with my friend, Summer, and her mom, Mrs. Candy. Summer has a 5 month old, Haven, and I've been dying to see her! She is adorable, and it was so good visiting with them both. We also Skyped with Summer's sister, and one of my best friends, Stephanie, who recently moved to New Zealand. Tinley cried when we left, she enjoyed herself too! We came home, visited my mom's neighbor's for a little bit, and had dinner, and my mom and I just chatted by the fire. It hit me. I'm going home tomorrow. 

It has been so good being home, and I am so glad I could be here with her. I know this next week is going to be so tough, and I only wish I were closer to help her. Losing a family member really puts things into perspective, and you realize whats important. Friends and family. That's what matters. So, thank you to everyone that we saw and visited with this past week, it has been wonderful, despite the circumstances, and I love each and every one of you. 

I'd like to leave you all with my Grandma's obituary. I had the honor and pleasure of helping write it. I hope she approves. Earlier this evening, my mom and I went over to her condo to get a few last things, and inside on her dresser was a card that everyone at the facility had signed. Inside, one person wrote "Lee was a saint." Another one wrote "She sure was a sweet lady." It's so nice to see that even at 91, my Grandma was loved and looked up to. I know that a day will not go by when I don't think of her, but I know she is in a much better place, and she is watching over us all. I love you Grandma.

Wilmington Star News Obituary of Myrtle Lee Walker Horton

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