The week before Christmas I had to take an unplanned trip back home to Columbus, Georgia. Although unplanned it did offer some quality time with family.
This was a hard trip to make. You see, this was the first time I have been to Mama's grave since she died in 2009. Mama died in February and I had planned to go home that summer after her headstone had been placed. My son joined the Army and I postponed the trip to spend all the time I could with him. I rescheduled the trip for November 2009. My son graduated boot camp and attended AIT so we traveled for that and postponed the other trip. I rescheduled the trip for May of 2010. My son deployed to Afghanistan and once again I postponed the trip. The stress of his deployment left me wanting to stay close to home and so I thought it would be spring 2011 before I finally made it home to visit Mama's grave and see her headstone in person. The need to take that unplanned trip changed that. Perhaps all the delays were for the best. Even with as much time that has passed it was very hard for me to stand there and accept that Mama is no longer with me. I tell her every day how much I miss and love her. I do hope she is pleased with the stone I picked out.
While home I also visited the graves of my 4 sisters. My little sister, Teresa, died in 2007 at the age of 39 of natural causes. My older sister, Denise, died in 2008 at the age of 49 of cancer. Three months later in 2009 Mama was gone. It's hard imagining growing old without them.
I also have 2 sisters that died at birth. Mama had twins Judine and Joycine in 1960 before I was born. [from her first marriage]
At Mama's funeral this is what I shared:
"I will cherish every day I was blessed to have Mama. Her hands tenderly cared for me, her kisses healed my pain. Her hugs calmed my fears and her voice was a melody in my ear. Nothing compares to a mother’s love. It guided me through life in my early years and waited in the wings in my adult years. Mama has left us for a little while but her love will always be with us. Close your eyes and open your heart and there you will find her."
|The back of Mama's headstone|
|East Porterdale Cemetery|
|Close-up of Denise's headstone|
It is my plan to have a new headstone placed on the twins grave. One that will last longer. The one above is common and seen a lot in this cemetery.