It will be three years come anuary 2018 since you've passed away. I'll never forget the last time I spoke to you was December 2015, two weeks before Christmas. Dad (my Father) was in the hospital for having a mini-heart attack (at least that's what they shared at the time), and I was the one that called to let you know that he was in there. I remember you asking how he was doing and what was going on. I also remember you saying, "Take care of my son." In that moment I never read into those words nor did I ever imagine that this would be the last time that I would speak to you. We both said, "I love you" (like we normal) and then ended the call. A few weeks later I was sleeping (out cold) and my Mother woke me up. She knows that I hate to be awakened as I have mild insomnia, and whenever she's woken me from a deep sleep (in the past) I get so startled that I normally raise up out of my bed like the Incredible Hulk. This time it was different. It was almost like God knew why she was waking me; that's how I like to look at it. When I opened my eyes and saw my Mother standing over me, she said, "Anesha, I need to tell you something." I looked at her and in hearing her tone I knew it wasn't good news. I honestly thought she was going to share that my Great-grandfather had passed away; not that I wanted him to pass away either. (SN: My great-grandfather is still alive and just turned 100 years old on June 6, 2017).
When my mother touched my shoulder she looked me in my eyes and said, "Anesha, I need to tell you something. (pause) Grandma Tammy died." Everything froze for a moment. I heard what she said, but I didn't fully process it. My grandmother had been sick (physically), but last time I spoke with her she was doing better and she was doing what she was medically advised to do. I wasn't expecting to hear this because my grandmother was also supposed to move down to Florida and live with my Father that April before she died; so this was unexpected. After my brain finally processed what happened, I went to find my Father and hugged him. He was sitting at the computer looking up flights since we were living in Florida and my grandmother lived in New York. My Father and I didn't part words in that moment about my grandmother dying. My Dad is very stoic and I knew if I asked how he was feeling he'd just say, "I'm okay." I remember gathering photos of my grandmother shortly after that and doing whatever I could to help my Father in that moment. I couldn't be there emotionally for my Father like my mother could (as a wife), but I knew that I could help him gather what he needed. I guess the business mindset kicked in and my grandmother was also very organized so I knew I could use some of the things she taught me to help my father in this moment.We only had a few hours to pack and get on the first flight that we could catch. A snow storm was coming to New York and it was now or never as far as travel was concerned.
(My grandmother is wearing yellow in this photo). By now you're probably wondering why I'm sharing this story - so here it is. My grandmother was 71 years old when she died. Still young and in my opinion she still had a life to live, but God saw otherwise. I have many memories of some beautiful moments that she was heavily a apart of and also the immense amount of support she gave me sine I was a little girl. One thing that I never saw or really paid attention to when she was alive were her photos and videos. Out of respect for my Father and the rest of my family I have to skip some details that I would like to share, but I'm so grateful that she had photos and videos of the adventures and journey's she took in life. Some of her videos were so old. I was able to see my Father as a sixteen year old.
I never knew that my Grandmother traveled as much as she did. I know she went to Africa several times, but it was amazing to see pictures of her in Paris. That's right! She made it to Paris; I'm still dreaming of going there one day. She was an explorer and an adventurer. I never sat down with her to talk about these trips, but I have pictures of her and that is so much better than not knowing at all. My Father and I found old projector slides in her basement, and that's how we discovered some of these images and videos. We even found and old camera. You know my heart did a million backflips when he pulled it out of the closet to show me. All of the years that I spent playing pool in her basement, I never looked in her closet where these beautiful heirlooms were hidden.