All of my childhood was spent either with my parents or going on adventures with my grandma. Every morning before my mom went to work, she would drop me off at my granny’s house. I would spend all day with Grandma and then come home and call her to talk about our day together.
I remember when Granny first got her cassette radio. The only song she would play was “Green Onions” by Booker T & The MGs. That was her favorite song. She had that song on repeat every morning, afternoon, and night.
My grandma always knew how to have a good time. There was never a time when she was not dancing. That is what she was known for in our family. At every family gathering, she would always get up and dance.
When I was little, we would have fun all the time. She would often take me to the park next to her building and every Friday she would take me to the store for a new toy.
Spending time with my grandma was always fun no matter where we went. Even when we stayed inside, we would make forts with her pillows and blankets. She taught me how to play card games and she introduced me to so much of the music I listen to now.
When I started junior high school, I did not get to see her as much as I used to. I went from seeing her every day to only seeing her on Wednesdays for dinner. I still called her every day though. I had to, it was a part of my daily routine at that point.
The older I got, the sicker my grandma got. She was dealing with so much. Hospital visits went from every few months to every few weeks. That did not stop me from talking to her.
We noticed that her hospital stays were becoming too routine when she started to miss events; Mother’s Day, my high school graduation, Thanksgiving, and more.
As soon as my mother would get the call that Granny was in the hospital, we would go right over to see her right after I got out of school. Even when she would go to the hospital, I still had to call her when I got back home. I called Granny every day no matter what.
I remember calling her to tell her about my first day of college. From the tone of her voice, I could hear how proud she was of me. I talked to her all night long and like always, it was my favorite part of the night.
During my freshman year of college, I finally got my first real job working at a retail store. After every shift, I would go home to tell Granny about the gossip at work. She always knew how to change my mood. She made everything 10 times funnier even though she wasn’t at work with me.
A few weeks after Thanksgiving, my family started to prepare for Christmas. Granny was out of the hospital and said she was feeling better.
On Saturday, Dec. 24 of 2016, I was working a night shift at my store. I called my mom to tell her that I was leaving work and was getting on the train to head home.
“Okay. See you when you get home,” she said to me before I hung up.
As soon as I got off the train, I saw my dad’s car pull up across the street from the bus stop. He honked the horn and told me to get in. My mom was yelling on the phone at somebody.
I was so confused. He was driving so fast as if we were being chased by the cops. We drove to Granny’s building. The bright lights from the ambulance illuminated the whole block. My mother jumped out of the car to run to the ambulance.
I kept asking my dad what was going on and he could not stop staring at the ambulance. My mom got back in the car and we followed the ambulance to the hospital. My dad did not even put the car in park before my mother jumped out of it again. This time, I followed her.
We were standing in the emergency room while the doctor told my mother about Granny. I was standing there trying to calm her down, not realizing how bad it all was.
“Granny is always in the hospital, she is going to be fine,” I kept telling my mother to calm her down.
We stood right outside of the curtain trying to see what was going on. I remember watching the EKG machine and showing my mother that everything was fine. That was the only thing we could see through the crack of the curtains anyway.
Every beat that I saw on the machine, I felt in my heart. As soon as we saw it flatline, I did too. My body got numb and I dropped to the floor and cried in my mother’s arms. The nurse asked if we wanted to see her and we crawled to her.
I just laid on her chest begging her to wake up, but she was gone. My mother told me it was time to go and I could not move. She kept telling me we had to go.
“NO! I AM NOT LEAVING!” I yelled at my mother and laid my head back on Granny’s chest.
I blurred everyone else out. I just laid my head on her chest. My dad had to physically peel me off of Granny. I remember kicking and screaming for them to just leave me there with her.
I don’t remember getting home that night. I just remember waking up on Christmas morning and not being able to move. I did not leave my bed, I did not talk to my parents, I just laid in my bed and cried.
I was out of it. I wanted to call Granny to tell her what happened to her.
Every day after that became so much harder without her. Every day I came home, I picked up the phone to call her. I always had to stop myself mid-dial.
At her funeral, I brought my speaker and I played “Green Onions” as everyone paid their respects. I had that song on repeat. That song has helped me get through some really hard times. Any time I hit a breaking point, I play “Green Onions,” think of her, and my mood changes for the better.
Granny was and still is my favorite person. She was my diary and I always felt safe and loved when I was with her. She will always be here in my heart and mind. My grandma is my everything. Even though she is gone, I know that she is still here in spirit watching over me.