Patricia Ann Brumble
I've had a person like that in my life for all thirty-four years of my existence. My grandmother Patricia Brumble, my "Mimi." And last Sunday, she passed away. I have to tell you, it's been just over a week and my eyes still fill with tears as I write that to you. Because she was one of a kind. And I loved her and she loved me. And she's irreplaceable in my heart.
So it's been an emotionally charged week. I've been to Texas twice in the past two weeks. A lot of travel. A lot of worry. A lot of hours in the car with the kids. And then the emotion of all of us coming together to say goodbye to Mimi, to celebrate her life, to grieve together. Have you ever noticed that at funerals people always say, "It's good to be together. I just wish it weren't under these circumstances?" or "Why does it always take something like this to bring everyone together?" It seems to me like people always say these things when there's been a loss. But the truth is that when we've lost someone, we come together because we need each other. We're hurting and we need comfort and being with people who love us provides comfort. I was thankful to be with my family as we said goodbye to Mimi. And even though it's goodbye for now, she's in my heart wherever I go. And because of my faith, I know I'll see her again.
But it's still goodbye. And it hurts. And it wasn't what I wanted. And I feel the loss of someone who made me feel so loved.
I've been eating chocolate kisses today. Mimi loved chocolate kisses. She always kept a dish of them nearby.
I've been thinking about the fact that this wasn't the autumn I expected--the car accident, the residual effects of that, the loss of my precious Mimi, the workload. It's not what I expected. Have you had seasons in your life like that? Times where everything unfolded in ways you could not have pictured before? And some days it felt like too much?
I haven't even bought candy for Halloween yet. I've got a little princess and a little dinosaur who are super excited to dress up. I feel like the season is getting away from me.
But it's not.
On my way to work this morning, I listened to a Christmas CD that I picked up from the library. Jeff and the kids and I slept in Mimi's garage apartment while we were in Texas. She had lots of Christmas movies and Christmas CDs in there. I remember how much she loved the holidays. She loved Thanksgiving and Christmas and cooking turkey and dressing and all the fixings. She loved time spent with her family. She loved cooking for her family and having all of us over. I'm that way too.
And this morning as I listened to It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and The First Noel, I remembered that even a hectic, chaotic, emotionally charged winter season can slow down for one reason: Jesus. He's got this amazing way of redeeming even a season filled with unexpected situations. It will be a different winter season for me this year. And there will be a heaviness with the loss of my Mimi. But there's still Jesus. There's still the beauty and magic of the holidays. There's still the heart-filled gratitude I have for having had such a wonderful grandmother. There's still a little princess and dinosaur who can't help but spill over with the magic and excitement that the holidays bring.
My Mimi made everything special. My memories of her are precious--holidays, birthdays, weddings, dyeing Easter eggs, shopping, going out to dinner, watching movies (she introduced me to Bette Davis movies and I will forever be a fan), talking late into the night when I'd sleep over at her house, crying every summer when I had to go back home because I loved being with her so much, eating chocolate kisses at her house, seeing her light on when I'd come home (she lived next door to our family for many years). I'll treasure those memories. She was an exceptional grandmother.
I love you, Mimi.