Jal, the boys and Mom and I drive to Washington, D.C. and get Granny Boo. We drive to the ocean. Ally, GB’s nurse for the last 10 years, comes with us because we love her. In fact, all the siblings and grandchildren can join us in the dream – most of them live in the D.C. area. Except we’ll get a babysitter for the littlest great-grandchildren. All that energy might be too chaotic. Besides, this dream is gettin’ kinda full.
On the way to the ocean, we stop and pick up Granny Boo’s favorite lunch, a fresh snapper, grilled with butter and lemon "Gad, what could possibly be bettah?"
We have canvas folding chairs and sit around in the surf. GB’s wheelchair is just far enough into the water so she can feel the surf on her feet. Mo and Ryan are in the deepest water. Probably falling over, floating away, getting a little raucous… WAIT. This is my dream. OK, now they are calm and peaceful, quietly enjoying Granny Boo’s enjoyment. [This could happen only in my dreams.]
And we hang out. Watching the horizon as the sun heads toward the yardarm behind us. Then GB and Jal, Mom, Ally, all who care to, enjoy a champagne cocktail. Or two. Later, as the sun disappears, we head back to D.C. while Granny Boo sleeps the whole way home. A perfect day.
March 25, 1910 – September 1, 2006
I wrote that early this morning as I was waking up. It’s been percolating since yesterday. Mom just called to tell me Granny Boo died this morning at 6am. As Mom says, even though we all wanted it to happen, were ready for it to happen, now it seems so terribly abrupt.
My cousin Beth was with Granny Boo last night. She said it was awful, that GB looked ghastly and was quite agitated. But, then, after a while, she calmed down, became peaceful. Several of the nuns came into the room. They all settled around Granny Boo’s bed and said all the things they loved about her. Beth was grateful to have been there, to have witnessed such a loving and quiet celebration. And because Beth was there, we know Granny Boo really did go peacefully.
Later this year, our family, even the littlest great-grandchildren, will get together in Rehoboth Beach, the beach town where we spent ALL our summers, where we owned the Seagull guesthouse in the 70’s, where lies the beach Granny Boo loved the most, and sprinkle her ashes into the ocean. So.
"A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last."
– Charlie Daniels