Growing up I was one of 13 grandkids. Twice a summer we would all get together for a family pool party at my grandmother's house. My mom and dad would go get 2 bushels of blue crabs fresh off the boats. They would pick up shrimp and corn on the cob too. All the kids would play in the pool while the grown ups cooked our meal. My grandmother, Bam, would be in charge of the crabs. She would purposely, I mean accidently, drop a few live ones on the ground to chase the kids. My dad and his brother would be 'manning' the grill. They would cook the corn, hot dogs, and whatever else we had. We would then all sit down at huge tables to eat our meals. We always had fun. There were games of all kinds. We would play football, soccer or baseball up on the fields next to my dad's childhood home. We would play games in the pool as well.
Bam's house was the one that we gathered at for the holidays. I can picture the men on the couches while watching the football games on Thanksgiving. I can see the kids all playing with the knick knacks that Bam collected as she traveled all over the world. I can see the tree in the sun room. I can picture all the food in the dining room. I can picture my grandmother so clearly and so full of life.
When I had to do a 6th grade project on a country in Africa, Bam helped me. She had just gotten back from a trip to Egypt. She gave me all of her artifacts that she collected. I got an A that day.
Many of you that read my blog know that I love the islands. I love the sand, the water and the sun. I feel like I am at home when my feet are in the sand. All of my worries go away at the smell and sight of the ocean. It is as if my worries get washed away with the tide. The reason that I am at home at the beach, Bam. She taught me to love the islands. She showed me that there was peace in the sand. Bam & I have been to few different beaches. We have been to Jamaica where we climbed a waterfall, the Bahamas where she lived part time, and we have been to the Eastern Shore of Md. The music that I love the most reminds me of the water. They are Beach Songs.
Last May, she was taken to the hospital because she fell. They didn't know if she would make it to my cousin's wedding on June. She made it. She had another goal, make it until I came for a visit in August. She made that goal too. She was well enough to make a trip to her house in the Bahamas over the holidays.
Unfortunately, Bam died this morning. I am so glad that I got the chance to see her in August. I am thankful that my kids have a great memory of eating sushi with their great-grandmother. I am thankful that she got to see them one more time. Mostly, I am just grateful that she was my grandmother.
I will miss you forever Bama. I'll see you at the beach.
photo courtesy of Virtual Tourist