And then the answers came: 1--she'd be delighted, 2--no words will ever do her justice, but I will try anyway.
Sugar giving me a hug & a kiss before I started college.
Sugar, as we've always called her, lived an astounding 95 years on this earth. Sugar passed away a week ago, and a piece of my heart will be forever empty. Let me tell you a little about her life: she had a hard childhood, as her mother died when Sugar was 2, and she had to work in the cotton fields. She never gave up and loved everyone, regardless. Sugar was an extremely devoted wife and mother. She was an entrepreneur, owning a dress shop in the 60s. She was the pillar of the community (everyone knew and loved her), and even started the library for one of the elementary schools in town. Sugar later worked as a receptionist for my Grandmother's beauty salon, until she was 90. She survived breast cancer at 80. And her favorite color was pink.
I could go on and on about the amazing things she accomplished, and how she always triumphed over any adversities she faced, but instead I want to list what I loved and will miss:
- She called me Angel Pie #1 (because I was the first great-grand, but I like to pretend it's because I was her fave).
- I'll treasure her singing Horsey Keep Your Tail Up, an old song from 1923, as she rocked us to sleep. I've tried to carry on this tradition with my pup, who is rather unenthusiastic and unappreciative of said tradition/my singing.
- I'll miss her voice; a true "joyful noise" when she sang. I'll miss the way she said, "I love youuuu" before she hung up the phone or at the end of a visit.
- I remember sitting on her back porch as a kid, on a summer day. We would eat ice cream sandwiches, trying to cool off, and I would think, it can't get any better than this.
- I'll miss all the memories of her house, a place I've not visited since she entered the nursing home 5 years ago. It's just not the same without her there.
- When I wanted to go to away to college, but no dorms were available, she got on her knees and prayed every night they'd find me a spot. And sure enough, they did, two days before classes started.
- I'll never forget how she then rode 3.5 hours, walked up 4 flights of stairs, and made my bed when I moved into the dorms. She was in her 80s then. And I was the first in my family to graduate college.
- She was very devoted to her churches and to God. There's no doubt where she is right now. Sugar would always help anyone in time of need.
- I'll remember spending Saturday nights at her house when I was little, so she could take us to her church on Sundays. She always had to be the first one there.
- I'll miss her hands. They were always so soft, and her nails manicured.
- I laugh when I think how she always kept her house, as my Dad always said, "hot enough to melt tin foil."
- Sugar knew everything about everybody, but she wouldn't dare have called it gossip. She was just Informed.
- I hope I never forget her smell: part Oil of Olay and part Chanel No. 5.
- I'll remember playing with her costume jewelry and the odd assortment of bits and baubles we called "toys." I'll remember playing in her yard, along the dirt road, and on the back porch.
- She loved receiving presents and always wanted her picture taken.
- I'll miss her trademark bright pink lipstick, which she left on everyone after she kissed them.
- She bragged to everyone about her great-grands, and was so proud of us. I'll miss most of all her never-ending love and belief in me.
- Sugar was my great-granny, was as sweet as her name, and I'll miss her always.
Sugar always gave me something when I visited. Some things were discarded (there's only so many rose soaps one needs in a lifetime), but on one occasion, she gave me a blanket with an angel on it, but I never used it. When I drove back home (a long, 5-hour drive full of sobs), I came across the blanket, remembered it was from her, and noticed for the first time the words:
...and in my heart.
Thanks for every kind word, thought, and prayer you, my wonderful readers, have offered. Special thanks to those who offered to post and those who did: Ana, Deborah, Maribel, Jackie, Aimee, Jess, and E. Thanks to those who took time to leave comments on their posts and make them feel welcome. I truly appreciate your help during this difficult time. Thank you. Love, Elle
My Sis J, Sugar, Me