A spring color for today. My Tara came home saying "Happy Spring since 1:30pm"....gee I didn't know they got so technical in 3rd grade. There are only 3 1/2 days of school this week then it's hello spring break for us. She wanted to go up to Raleigh to a Hockey game....maybe, but it's on Monday night and I still would need to be home and get up for work on Tuesday. Yeah, I could go in late since I'll be out late, my boss is good that way (It's a 2 hour drive one way). Since my surgery I've had the fundzalow disease, so I'll have to consult with my wallet before I say YES.
I must say I'll be glad for Spring to be here. The temperature flux around here has been nutz.....50's then 70's to 80 in the day off and on. It's enough to keep us sniff'ln....and of course the pollen is showing up. Still, I am a warm weather girl and I'm sure I'd get along just fine if I moved to Florida. When I'm there at Christmas time I think to myself "I could get used to this". Of course it's the Gulf Coast north of Tampa that I visit, and not the heat of Miami, that's why I can say that. We were in the West Palm area in June 2004 and the temps were still nice. Yet I remember a July in 1981 when Disney was a sweltering 106!!! Ahhhh yes, I could deal with Florida's weather. But as long as my Nanny is still around (she's 83) I'll be here in coastal NC.
My Nanny.....wow, what a wonderful lady. She is auburn haired and it is all natural - people think she colors it. Only a smidgen of grey at the front. Smart! and funny. Loves to play practical jokes. Still plants and harvests a fairly large garden....we LOVE the fresh veggies. And collards....boy can she cook the best collards and speckled butter beans around. I still can't get my Yankee husband to love these as much as me and Miss T. My Nanny & Papa practially raised me till I was about 5 years old. My Dad was a drunk and my Mom ended up working long days...so long that my Papa, her dad, said Let the baby stay with us. Mom seemed to only have "visitation" rights. I often teased people that my Nanny & Mom had been switched at birth. I became Papa's shadow...I was the first grand so of course I was special....right up till the day my lil girl was born (she's the first grand and great-grand). Papa taught me everything I know....cars, tractors, trees, handtools...we got dirty and greasy. And as far back as I can remember I always mowed his lawn. I learned to drive in his old Ford truck and farm tractor. He was my best friend and father as well as Papa. My dad wasn't around much...he worked outta town and preferred to hang out and drink w/his buddies when he was home. So I depended on my grands a lot.
When my Papa fell ill 6 years ago, it was almost more than I could imagine (I still get tears even writing this). He had an aneursym that was leaking and one day it was more than normal. This sent him to the hospital. While there he had a stroke which no one knew about (except me--I figured it out) and he was sent to a nursing home for "re-hab". Just so happened a friend was the asst director of nursing and I told her "re-hab my butt", he's had a stroke. We tried bringing him home but it was more than my Nanny was able to handle. My Papa was a tall strong man even at 80. It broke her heart to think she couldn't take care of him. Back in the hospital, his cardio Dr told me and Nanny that Hospice would be the best choice. My Nanny wouldn't believe that he was dying. My Mom was out of town and I was in charge of keeping Nanny stable and secure while going through all of this. I had to call Mom to tell her that her father's best bet was Hospice. Oh this broke my heart.
Hospice is a great place! Once Papa was settled, we met with the Dr and my Nanny kept saying "when he comes home". This confused the doc and he told her in the best way that "he's not going home"....that he would remain there through his last days. The realization hit her then. For the next 12 days he lay there..and 2 days before he died I was in the room and a couple of his nieces had come too, one all the way from Atlanta. My cousin said "maybe he's hanging on because he's afraid to leave" and she suggested that we all tell him that it was OK to go on. That was absolutely the worst thing I'd ever had to do or say in my life. I couldn't imagine my life without him. My Papa worried the most about me and my little girl, so I had to tell him that we would be OK without him and that I loved him and was so glad to have him in my life and I thanked him for everything. Two days later I lost my Papa, father figure and best friend....the one and only stable man in my life of 35 years.
The next year Tara was 4 and as we were sitting in the swing she asked me if I could see Papa (because he was with God in heaven which was beyond the clouds). I had to say YES and explained to her that he had planted the tree we were swinging under, and the grass below us and the pear tree behind us was from the tree in his yard. My Papa had given me the land which I live on, so YES - I see him everyday. And it is so very often that I am thankful and grateful to have had him in my life. I still miss him so very much.
WOW...how did I get on that tangent?? Maybe it is in seeing the season change...the pear tree blooming....even the smells of late. Maybe I'm realizing that life and its cycle keeps going no matter what. Once I was a child and I thought like a child....now I'm a mother, wife, friend.