The South, a place I still consider home, a place I cherish visiting, and the unfortunate reality of why I’m visiting.
There’s nothing like southern hospitality. Even though I’m from Wisconsin, I have southern roots and I’m still very much at home in the culture of “y’alls,” “howdy,” and “ma’am.” I have plenty of friends whom invite me back into their lives and homes for a week or two every few months, and that’s amazing to me. Their generosity with their time in something I’ll always be thankful for.
Fortunately and unfortunately for me, I’m here to see my Grandmother whose health is failing. She’s got COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and she is rapidly fading. Our once weekly half hour conversations have shrunk to a five or ten minutes every month, and you can hear the strain in her voice even when she strongly insists she loves me and can’t wait to visit. She’s incredibly resilient, not even comparatively for her age, and we didn’t think she’d make it as long as she has. She’s been living in a grace period, as I like to say.
Saying goodbye is never easy.
That’s the honest truth of it all. I don’t want to say goodbye. I dread the thought of seeing her frail frame on oxygen just to survive. I don’t want my last memories of her to be seeing her weak and in the embrace of the void. But I will. I will because I want to say goodbye, and to let her know how much I love her one last time.
I’ll get through it with the help of my wonderful brother, his bride-to-be, dog-kisses, and my family of course. There will be a chance to celebrate the next generation at a wedding this weekend, and time to celebrate the passing of the old generation.
In the South, you can live forever in a moment of time that seems isolated from the flow of the world, but the world will keep on moving without you. Some like it this way, find the Southern Charms intoxicatingly nostalgic, but right now, for me, I’m aware of every passing second and what it brings.
As always, dear reader, thank you for stopping by. It means the world to me. I hope this article finds you happy and healthy, and I remind you to check on your loved ones and to make sure they’re aware of just how much you care.
Steven, signing out.
(I love you Bibby)