2.06.2012

For Sugar

When I though about writing this post, doubts plagued me: is this too personal to share? How would I express how wonderful a woman Sugar was who had a remarkable life, to so many who'd never met her?
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, MaribelJackie, 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

43 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. What a sweet post- Sugar would love it!

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  2. Wonderful post and I'm sure she would have been touched by it

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  3. Sorry for your loss, Elle, but how lucky were you to have such a strong, amazing woman in your life. Carry on her legacy. You won't regret one minute of it!
    xo kb

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  4. I've been thinking of you all week. Thanks for sharing about Sugar!

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  5. Elle, she sounds so amazing. I was tearing up as I was reading this, thinking about how I wish I had a chance to know my great grandmother, and how lucky you are to have had yours in your life. What a remarkable woman and a fantastic angel you have watching over you. The picture you posted captures such a beautiful moment.

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  6. What a beautifully written post, honouring someone you clearly loved so very much. I am sorry you have lost her.

    Loulou

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  7. Hi my dear, this is a very thoughtful and beautifully inspiring post, so sweet of you to write it in honour of Sugar, and eternalizing the impact she had on you and your life. In time you will look back on this post and smile at how well she is be remembered, and all the wonderful memories you have of her

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  8. I'm so sorry for your loss, she seems like a remarkable woman, I would have loved to known her. This post brought tears to my eyes, I can only imagine how much you must miss her.

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  9. Beautiful tribute, Elle. She sounds like a lovely lady.
    XXOO

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  10. Just Precious ! Love you , mommy

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  11. Such a sweet blanket! So sorry to hear about your loss. She really did sound like a truly amazing person. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. So happy you'll be back in the blogging world!

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  12. I just teared up a bit reading this, so even if your words can't completely adequately describe her, they're definitely good enough. I'm so sorry for your loss. I only have one surviving grandparent, and she sounds very much like your great-grandmother. It's inspiring to know that we can be fun and vivacious even as we grow older. xoxo

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  13. This post made me tear up. It was absolutely beautiful. She sounds like an amazing woman, someone I would aspire to be like a there age. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  14. We are thinking of you. Consider yourself embraced. What a kind and wonderful spirit she was. I'm sure she inspired you alot. XX

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  15. What a beautiful tribute to your great granny. She sounds like such a remarkable woman and I think it's wonderful that you shared such a beautiful relationship. So glad you came across that blanket again. I'd say it was a big reminder from above :) xo

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  16. This was such a wonderful and touching tribute, Elle. She would have been proud. You are lucky to have had her in your life, and she probably felt the same way about you. May she rest in peace...

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  17. I'm really sorry for your loss...but this is such a wonderful tribute.

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

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  18. Sugar sounds like an amazing lady. At least you have those memories on her back porch with an ice cream sandwhich :)

    I'm so glad that you stumbled across the blanket! You'll treasure that forever.

    xoxo

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  19. i'm so sorry for your loss and what a sweet post!

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  20. Elle, Im glad you're back. I can't tell you how sorry I am for your loss but today you have honored her in a very sweet way and I am sure you will always find new ways to do so in your life.
    Lots of hugs, chica!

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  21. i am so sorry for your lost. i recently lost my grandmother and it is so tough. this post made me tear up. i will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

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  22. Sugar sounds like a true treasure, and it's beautiful that you've chosen to honor her with this special post. She's helped shape who you are and give your life meaning, and in that way, she will always be with you.

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  23. Oh, Elle, I'm so sorry to hear about this. Sugar sounds like an amazing, inspirational woman. This post was a beautiful tribute to her (it almost made me cry!). Send hugs your way. xoxo

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  24. What a beautifully written post. I'll be thinking of you :)

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  25. This is truly a beautiful post. My best friend of over ten years just recently lost her grandmother. Please accept my deepest condolensces and find comfort in knowing that there is one more angel above us.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

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  26. I'm sure she would have loved this. I certainly enjoyed reading it. Grandparents (especially grandmas) are such an important part of a family. I am terribly sorry for your lose but at least you have these beautiful memories to keep her spirit alive in your heart.

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  27. Aw, she sounds like she was was an amazing lady. So sorry for your loss!

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  28. What an amazing post for an amazing lady. I'm glad that you had the courage to write it; I'm sure you won't regret it.

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  29. This is really sweet... the photo ads so much emotion, I love it.


    * your comment today made me laugh, that is all. ;)

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  30. She is smiling at you now and always. Hugs dear!

    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  31. This is a beautiful post–brava for sharing these wonderful memories, and keeping her alive in you.

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  32. What a very special woman Elle! What a blessing to have had her in your life!

    xoxo
    http://rambleswithreese.etsy.com
    http://rambleswithreese.blogspot.com

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  33. Elle,

    I am sorry for your loss if you need anything don't hesitate to ask...Sugar sounded like an amazing women and I bet it was an honor to have known such a lovely person.

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  34. Really beautifully said, Elle. I'm terribly sorry for your loss. Your love and enthusiasm for you Sugar are overwhelming.

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  35. What a sweet way to remember her. Lovely tribute Elle

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  36. Beautiful post, she must have been an amazing woman. Im sorry for your loss.

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  37. Aww, such a sweet post, it sounds like she was an amazing woman. And like the blanket says, she will always be by your side.. xoxo

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  38. Elle, thank you for sharing all about Sugar and you. I love what the blanket says. It is so true! like I said before my grandmother suddenly passed away in 2009 and to this day I still miss her. I always remember all she did and how happy she was to help out or just be with us. Cherish all the good Sugar did and had. All the love, hugs to you and I'm glad you are back... I missed you. It was a pleasure to write a guest post so no need to thank me. I just wanted to help a very sweet friend: you.

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  39. This is so precious, Elle. Sugar would have loved it because it came from YOU. I loved reading of the memories and the precious things you loved about her. My great grandmother (Mamaw), who is now deceased, always gave us something to take home with us when we left her house after a visit too. Now her daughter, my Nana, is continuing on that tradition. I hope I can one day too.
    I'm so glad you decided to share with us about Sugar. What an influential lady she was. I hope that God is easing your pain. I've missed you Elle. Love you.

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  40. I'm so sorry for your loss. As I mentioned, my great-grandma was 98 when she died. We used to live down the street from her and I spent many hours in her kitchen eating sugary cereal that my mom wouldn't let me eat. Even though I'm not Catholic, I have so many of those Mexican Virgin Mary candles because it reminds me of the small, mysterious alter she had by her bed. I'm glad that she gave you so many happy memories that you can look fondly on. Her blanket is right, she will always be by your side and in your heart.
    BIG HUGS!!!!

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  41. I'm so, so glad your shared a little bit of Sugar with us. She sounds like such an amazing woman, and I really wish I could have known her. You're so lucky to have had her in your life, and I'm so, so sorry for your loss. xoxo

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