inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un.
My grandmother died at 8:29 this morning. May God grant her peace and have mercy upon her.
Please pray for her, and her children, her husband, her sibs and all of the rest of us.
I have to blog it out. My sister doesn't want to talk, and my cell is nearly dead. And I have some whinery in here somewhere. Blog blog blog.
I'm so sad right now. You might think it's odd that I'm not really sad for my grandmother- she'd been very sick, so that I'm glad she nor her caregivers have to go through illness anymore. And I'm relieved that we don't have to have disputes between us anymore. Her being sick opened a door for me to forgive ( though I'm not done with that yet I have started). Mostly I'm grieving for my mother- she was at the nursing center with her this morning, just the two of them. Reminded me a lot of how Nzingha described being with her mother at her passing. And for my aunts, my grandmother's other daughters, as well. My aunt C., the one I lived with here when I came back from Puerto Rico, had just left the night before, so she made it back here. She'll have to make the trip again. I think she'll be the most deeply affected of all of them. She's so stoic, but the advent of my grandmother's illness has made her frantic in a way. I wish I could comfort her, but, true to pattern, I think I'm so annoying to her that I'd just irritate her. As I did my grandmother, a lot of times. *sigh*
Today is my remaining grandmother's birthday, so I called her. My grandparents live up the street from one another; technically the streets have different names since they're bisected by the main road that goes through Tuskegee, but we only have to cross one street to walk from the house of my mother's parents to that of my father's mother. She said she was grateful to have made it to another year- and that she was cooking for "yo mama'nem. Your mama has been up so late all these nights, They all been up these nights, they shouldn't have to be cookin' too". Her co-mother-in-law (why don't we have a term for this in English?!) died on her birthday and she started cooking, which is very "her".
Mama (I actually call her Mami which sounds like Mommy in English, but it's wierd to write that) asked me if I'd be able to come to Tuskegee. Ostensibly for the funeral. I want to go give her a hug and wait on her. Yup, go and serve my mama. I'm rather ambivalent about the funeral for a couple of reasons, but they all are some variation of the fact that I don't want my grandmother's funeral to become or enable a focus on my differences from and with my extended family. At all. And I want to avoid that completely. I selfishly don't want things to be about me, I don't want questions, I don't want to sing, I don't want to be overwhelmed, I just want to go hug my mama and fix her plates and rub her feet.
I know that depending on which scholar I listen to I'm not supposed to go to the funeral anyway. Part of me doesn't want to go. I don't like funerals. I don't like my grandparent's church (this is where my mother and all my aunts were married.) I prefer burials, when things are quiet and the body is returned to the earth. Islamic funeral prayers and burials are just my style, really.
But. My mother has asked it. So much of my life in Alabama has been funerals, looking at the orange and white sandy ground while preachers say things and people brush tissues over their faces. InshaAllah I'll go to Tuskegee and play things by ear from there.
Logistics won't be fun. I guess I'll be making the ride down and back with my youngest aunt and uncle. I'm broke and I'm looking for work; I don't know if the school where I'm teaching will actually hire me back for both morning and evening sessions (it's month to month work until I'm full time, one session left to teach for that to happen), and I don't know where the money to travel will come from. I have a final exam to administer on Thursday evening; if perhaps I give it on Wednesday and let the students turn in their final book reports on Thursday, I could turn in the paperwork in order to actually be able to leave on Thursday night or Friday morning... I was going to use the time to look for jobs but... and, oh, yeah, Friday just happens to be my 26th birthday. And I thought the last one sucked. At least now I don't have to wonder about what I'm going to do. And I'll get to be around my cousins and my sibs and my family. *sigh*. I'm reaching for Allah right now, to help me know how to act.
You know, my grandmother had a great life. She kicked ass. As much as we disagreed, she gave me the best gift I have- my mother. For that alone I should celebrate the fact that she was here. and ask for God to keep her now that she's not. I'm mixed up, but I know that I'm grateful for that much.
But my grandmother has died, and she didn't die alone; my mother was with her. Pray for them, pray for us.