It's funny. The people I haven't talked to in years - some since high school - that have texted or emailed or called to let me know how much they loved her. All of friends or boyfriends had the opportunity to meet her. It was important to me that they knew her.
The difference in her passing and the passing of Grandpa is that we knew he was suffering. We knew he was at the end. I think mentally, we had time to prepare. Don't get me wrong, it was still difficult. I was a Grandpa's girl. With my Granny, she was fine. My mom was spending the night when she called out for my mom to say she couldn't breathe. We knew she had a bad heart but she'd been fine. Her version of fine. So my mom called the ambulance, she was admitted, they gave her lasix. Within an hour, the fluid had drained and she was back to her old self. She was mad she was in the hospital and she was ready to go!
My mom told me not to worry about coming down from Atlanta because she was fine; she was going to be discharged on Monday. Thankfully I've never been one to listen well. I surprised my grandma and mom in the hospital. I'm forever glad I did. We laughed, we talked on that Saturday night. She told me she thought for sure that the boys would be knocking down my door in Atlanta. She was upset we wouldn't be having Sunday dinner the next day. We were watching TV and she asked me what hazing meant..... these little things I never want to forget. Luke was with Brent and was suppose to meet me the next day to see her.
She was fine. My mom even went to work the next day.. I woke up to a text the next morning to a text from my uncle that said, "Mom just passed...." I literally fell to my knees in the floor. I couldn't even process what was happening. I immediately called my mom's work number but I could tell the receptionist didn't know what to do... She didn't know I already knew. My mom beeped in while I was waiting and I listened to her weep.
My mom and I are incredibly close. She and her mom were also incredibly close. I don't even want to imagine how she felt/feels. It's safe to say she has taken it the hardest out of everyone. I raced to the hospital after calling Brent. Luke decided he wanted to see her so he met me there.. in her hospital room. I'll never forget that they placed a picture of a sunset on her door to signify her passing. I took a picture.
Luke has taken it well. He cried once.. at the funeral. We made sure to include him in everything. He was a pal-bearer and even her obituary included her name he gave her, "Old Granny". My mom is just "Granny". She loved him. He was the last grandkid she babysat.
There's so much I could say about that amazing woman.. but I'll just include the eulogy I wrote.. and I've also included the video that played at her visitation.
I have the distinct honor of being Granny’s first grandchild.
When I think of Granny, I think of her cheese grits in the morning, her bowl with Donald Duck on it that she kept her medicine in, all of the birthdays we celebrated on Sundays at her house, picking muscadines off of the vine in her backyard, her moving the cars so I could skate the length of the driveway. I remember her as Old Granny- the name Luke gave her.
I think of the special relationship she has with my mom and how grateful she was to her.
I think of her checks she had with a rainbow on it and the caption, “Ask me about my grandkids” and how proud that made me. I think back to when she and my grandpa took me on vacation with them if my parents weren’t able to.
I remember calling her every night when I was in school to ask her what the weather would be like the following day so I knew how to dress.
Growing up when there were problems at home, she was my person. I went to her house and she made everything better. I can remember being mad at my mom in my teen years and getting in my car and heading to Granny’s house. Granny was always there to open her heart and welcome you in.
I got my personality from my Grandpa but I got my strength from my Granny and mom.
What I will forever be grateful for is that she taught us all how to love. If you think about the ideal mom, she is kind, compassionate, forgiving, non-judgmental, and a little tough when she needs to be. That completely and accurately describes her. She taught us that love should be unconditional, without judgment. She loved us even sometimes when we didn’t appear to deserve it.
Granny was made to be a wife, a mom, and a Granny. She excelled in all.
If she found you sad or wounded and she couldn’t heal it completely, she made sure to stick by you and love you through it.
Sure you might say, what grandma doesn’t love on their grandchildren. When you know Patsy Stephens, you know that the same kind of love was extended to many over and over – she didn’t reserve that love for just family. She welcomed all of my friends over the years as her family. When I posted on Facebook that she had passed, two of oldest friends from childhood messaged me to say their heart was hurting. She was just that special. She was Granny to everyone. But anyway. She loved the company. You could stay at her house the entire day but when you were leaving she’d say, “What’s your hurry?” I wish I could hear her say that one more time.