My great grandmother was my hero and I was her pride and joy. She was a beautiful Cherokee woman with a broad variety of knowledge and wisdom, she taught me everything I know about gardening and herbal remedies along with respecting the land and animals. I used to love trying to braid her long black hair that flowed down to her waist while I listened to one of her amazing legends.
I spent most of my summers with her making wonderful memories, though one summer night will never be forgotten. We had spent most of our day in her Lilly garden and canning apples when I noticed that she just didn't seem herself.
She looked tired and once when I asked her if she was alright she said her head hurt but not to fuss, she would be fine in a little while. So we went on with our day and later that night as she was telling me a story about how there are souls in every star, which I still believe. She told me that she was going to have to call my mom and have her come get me. She still didn't feel well.
Sad and concerned I followed my grandmother inside and slowly gathered my things. As I sat on her porch swing curled up in her arms, listening to her heartbeat she told me something that still sticks with me. " You know, that deep inside every one has gifts and everyone's are different. You can either believe in them and let them grow like our Lillies or you can stop believing in them and let them go. The choice is our own, sometimes they can be confusing or scary but sometimes they can be the answer you've been looking for. You're not too different from me you just have to uncover it. I love you little miss."
I went home that night with my grandmother's words running through my seven year old mind trying to make sense of it all as I tossed and turned hoping that my grandmother would feel better the next day so I could go see her.
Though to my discouragement she wasn't, days turned into a week and I was determined to go see her. Thinking of every excuse in the book We could go take her soup, somebody had to water the Lillies and the vegetable garden. I could go tell her a story she loved my stories that would make her feel better. But none of my excuses worked, instead my mom told me she was very sick in the hospital and that we would go see her the next day.
The next morning as my brother and I were eating breakfast my mom got a phone call saying that she had passed away. Beyond saddened I told my mom I didn't want to go to her funeral, but she insisted that I did to which I finally agreed but only if I could wear the dress my grandmother had gotten me that summer. It was a light yellow Sun dress with pink flowers on it.
She was hesitant but agreed, as we arrived at the funeral home I took my seat and tried to avoid the casket. I didn't want to see her laying there. I wanted her back so we could plant flowers and she could push me on the rope swing and I could hug her.
The service began and a lot of people spoke over her, it just didn't seem right instead of being sad I was angry. Half the people who were speaking over her rarely came to see her if anyone should be up there it was me. I knew her better than anyone.
I was just about to leave and go in the parlor when I heard my grandmother's voice. " Remember my special girl, I love you and I am always with you." I looked beside me to find my grandmother sitting there smiling at me. I was about to nudge my mom to tell her when my grandmother put a single finger to her lip and acted as if she were locking them. I giggled and did the same thing showing her I understood.
Of course my mother pinched me and told me to be quiet and when I turned around my grandmother was gone. I will always remember that day with a combination of gratitude and sadness but mainly with the knowing that my grandmother will always be with me.