2020, The Grief and Broken Heart You Have Given to Me

Granny and Me in 2017

2020, The Grief and Broken Heart You Have Given to Me by Chellyz View_

– Granny this is dedicated to you

No matter how much you try to convince yourself you will be strong as you watch a loved one transition from their earthly form to evolving into a spiritual being, it isn’t easy. At some point, my family and I knew we couldn’t be selfish because we wanted her to stay. During one of my last visits, I whispered in her ear and assured Granny that we would be alright because we didn’t want her to suffer anymore. A couple of weeks before she left us, her last prayer was, “Father, take me to the Heavens,” with her hands lifted to the sky.

On November 15, 2020, at 2:13 pm, on a cold and windy day, my Granny took her last breath, tiptoed out of her bedroom of 62 years, and peacefully walked into Heaven. I know she was welcomed by the Heavenly Father, ancestors, and many individuals she missed so dearly.

One and a half years old with my Granny

I don’t know about you, but 2020 broke my heart and, at times, my spirit more than ever. There have been other years where I have faced heartache and pain, but this year’s rounds of ups and downs have been more severe. Thanksgiving was very different this year. We didn’t have Granny, but we had each other. My family is small, but we have big hearts. This holiday taught me the importance of what courage and love from family truly meant though we may not always agree. We understood without a doubt that we can lean on each other. We smiled, laughed, danced, cried, and created new beautiful memories despite our sadness. I know Granny is proud of us!

First Family Thanksgiving without Granny 2020

Grief is very draining, and it can deplete every bit of you. It was challenging to grieve during this pandemic. Only so many people could attend the funeral and no risk of having a repass because we wanted to be cautious. As a grieving heart begins to heal, there will be those painful times when things seem so heavy. A challenging moment occurred while I was trying to find a song for Granny’s slide show. It was dark outside, and the tears began to flow while playing a rendition of “Grandma’s Hands.” Suddenly, the sun peaked through my window for a quick second. It felt as if Granny stopped by and hugged me right then, and I felt a sense of peace and thankfulness.

I must admit one of the most important lessons I learned this year is to be grateful for every minute. Family members, friends, legends, and famous people have been leaving this Earth in record numbers; it seems this year. Show appreciation to those you love before it’s too late. Try to forgive others and ask others to forgive you. However, if the efforts of resolving old wounds and binding broken relationships go awry, then it is time to let things go.

I know you heard this a thousand times (probably in a previous post), but life is too short to hold on to bitterness and anger. Life is too precious to hang on to people who keep reminding you of who or what you used to be. You know the ones who don’t know how to let go of the past. The present time is waiting for you to live life to the fullest with your presence even while navigating through grief!

Granny at her 70th Birthday Party

We are moving closer to a new year. I can’t promise you that soon as the clock strikes midnight in 2021, everything will be perfect. So, don’t wait for 2021 to find peace. Find it now. Be grateful now. Search for what can heal you now. Grow through this now. Learn to find a moment every day to practice thankfulness now.

It’s ok not to be strong all the time. Please know it is alright to lean on others that can help you. Reach out to someone now. Take care of yourself now. Look to the Holy Father to help you renew your strength now. 2020, you might have broken my heart in so many pieces, but step to the side while I welcome Love, Peace, and Happiness. I know with time time my grieving heart will slowly mend!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Jeff Lorber featuring Eric Benet. “Grandma’s Hands.” He Had a Hat, Blue Note Records, 2007.

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

dining table

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

I was scrolling through the gallery in my cellphone and the picture featured above held my attention.  A table.  Not just an ordinary table, but a decorated table that reminded me of one of my maternal grandmother’s tablecloths.  Some childhood memories are clear like looking through a freshly wiped window cleaned with window cleaner.  I accurately see the reflection of dinner time at my grandparent’s home.

My grandparents resided in a small modest home with a round dinner table. Dinner at my grandparent’s house was a ritual.  The main course of the day was done by 4:00 p.m.  My grandmother enjoyed working for a brief time, but life circumstances summoned her to become a stay at home mom.  I admired my grandma for watching over me while my mom worked.  I am displeased with myself because I didn’t pay attention to her nor my paternal grandmother’s recipes made from scratch.  I felt cooking wasn’t my calling.  Therefore, cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches became my specialty as I grew older, but that’s another story.

Yes, the dinner table at my grandparent’s house was sacred.  Hands washed.   Fresh produce.  Homemade Ingredients.  Life was at a slower pace back in the day.  At least that is how I envision grandma’s kitchen.  I can recall the aroma of greens, black eyed peas, the snapping of peas or green beans, and sweet potato pies (no strings found).  Watching flour and yeast being rolled by hand with a wooden rolling pin then left to rise a few times before being baked in the oven left me amazed.  The scent of roast beef or a whole chicken that appeared to be roasted without the rotisserie machine contraption lingered in the air.  This was a time before anyone thought or knew the definition or lifestyle of veganism or gluten free.

The most important part of the dinner routine was setting the table.  My grandpa would become irritated at times because I would start singing at the table.  I didn’t sing on key, but I always had a song.  I don’t know if this was a habit because the food was so good or I just felt like hearing him telling me to stop all that sangin’.  I knew we were to sit down at the table together.  No eating in the room.  No preparing separate meals.  Whatever was cooked you ate or you starved. Currently, I don’t know if that would be considered unfair treatment to children or not.  Paper plates, and plastic ware was not allowed at the dinner table.  Cups made of foam, oh no!  My grandma said she felt like she was about to choke when she drank out of a foam cup.  When she did finally break down and accepted paper or plastic goods at her dinner table, you were only to purchase Chinet or some other brand that resembled resilience.

Today, I feel guilty as a mother.  Don’t get me wrong, my children don’t starve.  However, they didn’t experience the same dinner time rituals I did as a child.   I am thankful their dad has mad skills in the kitchen.  So, they always get excited when dad prepares the meals.  We don’t always consume our dinner at the same time due to work schedules or extracurricular activities.  I am known for stocking up on paper and plastic goods because it’s an “easy” way of life in my home, but I know it isn’t good for the environment.  There are times when we have carry-out meals a little too often or the frozen section in the market conveniently saves time instead of having everything freshly prepared.  Electronics such as tablets and phones are supposed to be banned at the table when we have an opportunity to dine together.  The children ask, “Why?”  I respond, “Cause my grandpa said no singing at the table.”  Also, I tell them it’s important because it gives us a chance to talk about life.

A few years ago, before I realized the impact dementia was having on my grandmother we got into an argument.  It was about the details of the dining room table.  I wasn’t folding the dinner napkins correctly.  Grandma exploded and I left the room muttering, “I ain’t having another holiday dinner over here.”  I think she felt it would be one of her last holidays preparing a home cooked meal at the sacred dinner table.  A sadness overwhelmed me because I knew grandma was changing and this portion of our lives wouldn’t be the same.  Now, she enjoys the meals my mom and aunt prepare for her. She always sit by the window in her comfy chair.  Her dinner table consists of a small foldable wooden dinner tray.  Of course, she asks what time it is throughout the day, because she never wants to eat dinner after 5:00 p.m.

As families we need to find time to gather more at the table.  Even if time doesn’t allow for it to occur every day, we should commit to making the time at least three to four times a week.  It might not even be dinner, but maybe you could enjoy preparing an evening snack or dessert together.  Have at least one “good tablecloth” and a set of nice dinnerware you can find on sale.  Maybe even splurge on the fancy paper ware but remember to recycle.  LOL, I even invite singing to the dinner table as long it is a song, we can all sing and is appropriate.  Yes, our schedules can be rigorous at times.  Yes, we often find ourselves overworked and trying to manage the bills.  However, try to find a few moments to create some reflective and comforting memories at the dinner table .