Exactly one year ago today, I was purple and bruised, baffled that I was able to walk away from… https://t.co/lzBK1L7Y5B
Crashing back to normal after a week which felt like a month. Grateful for all the kind words, the memories, celebrating the everything-ness of life and death, and the people who give you roots and wings to both grieve and hope. Life is wild. Don’t forget to floss.
“Eulogies! I don’t want anyone to give me a eulogy, that’s for sure! If anyone wants to say anything about me, they can say it while I’m still living. Otherwise you can just keep it inside ya.” - #grandmagraciekate
Writing out a few memories to share at the funeral and came across this quote from Grandma in 2018.
I think I said my peace, at least I hope she felt all that overwhelming admiration, inspiration, and love in more words or less.
I took this photo of #grandmagraciekate in 2007 for a class assignment in college. She was already out working in her expansive garden in the East Atlanta home she had lived in since 1955.
As I photographed her weeding out the flowerbeds and pruning the fruit trees, she turned and said, “Want me to go get my chainsaw?”
. “Sure, Grandma!”
. “Do you want the little one or the big one? The big one? Well, all right then.” .
She had excellent artistic vision. Mom just informed me they had this photo blown up to display at the funeral because, in the words of Dad Gazaway, “Yep. That’s Gracie.” .
This photo was the start of 12 years of visits, interviews, photos both posed and secretly taken. It was the catalyst to view my Grandma as more than just a grandma; it sparked curiosity for the woman she is and woman she was beyond my narrow scope of understanding.
Entire lives emerged, multiple wars, countless broken hearts, a few cross country bus trips, births, funerals, handwritten handed down recipes, and everything in between.
All I really had to do was sit down and ask her. I am eternally grateful that I did.
Don’t let these lives, these living and breathing historical treasures, slip away without giving them a chance. Lean into the sadness they inevitably will unlock, let those long pauses linger, but also celebrate the joy in all those little mundane moments that stitch our lives together.
Give them a chance to surprise you. There’s not much time left.
Resting in peace. It seems so unnatural to speak about someone in past tense when they’ve been present your entire life. .
“She is...” and now “She was...” .
Today I lost my number one gal, my namesake, my only remaining grandparent.
She took her final breath surrounded by those she loved after 97 years of being a bad*ss and taking care of those she loved.
You can finally rest now, Grandma. You’ve done a good job and we’ll be OK. I love you. .
March 25, 1921 - September 20, 2019
Gracing brand new memories on all the same ol’ places.