My grandma passed away this week. She was one of eleven children and the last left with us at the age of 93. Most of my memories with grandma are of family, her devout faith, her fastidious appearance and her love of shopping. She had one heck of a journey here on this earth, outliving two husbands, raising one amazing daughter, being a mentor to three grandchildren and a role model to eleven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. She touched many lives and will always be in our thoughts.
On the way to the church from the funeral home our police escort took a wrong turn just a mile and a half before he was supposed to switch out with our escort from the next county. At first, my parents thought he was taking the back way because they grew up in this particular county in rural Mississippi and were familiar with the road he turned onto. Then, the next few turns he took, they assumed he knew a secret way to get there that they didn’t. Then, we started hitting roads they had never even seen.
We were a funeral procession following a southern male police officer that wouldn’t stop to ask for directions, bless his heart. At this point we are hysterical and enjoying the ride through the backwoods country roads. Along the way, we had a donkey run aside trying to keep up with us and went through a swampy area, but somehow we managed to miss Shrek. We’re convinced he was under the one lane wooden platform bridge we went over, but there is no way I’ll be able to ever find it again to go back and find him.
The free range dogs and fenced cows and horses we passed watched as a string of cars with blinking lights invaded their peaceful day. I’m guessing it may be more normal for them to see about ten cars a day. We also passed where my grandma grew up with all her siblings and where my mom was born. The house is no longer there, but in my imagination, the ghosts of her parents and siblings still remain. If we’d gone the correct way, we never would have been able to do that. Maybe it was grandma’s way of seeing her home one more time.
Eventually, our guide pulled over and admitted he had taken a wrong turn. He was content to let someone else take the lead and we made it without any further delay. As odd as it may seem, that was one of the best parts of the day. We will always have that journey and one more special memory of time spent with family to be with grandma.
The last couple months have been a crazy wild ride with my writing career as well. I’ve turned down two offers on a book and pulled the same manuscript from two other publishers who were interested in order to pursue something uncertain. It’s been scary and exciting, but it will also be remembered as an important part of my writing journey. I’m still waiting on one more item to fall into place, but I’m hoping to have some great news to share soon.
So while we’re all looking at the next place we need to be, I’ve discovered it’s sometimes the way that you get there that you’ll remember most.