Last Thursday I received a call that my paternal grandmother had passed away in the night. Then on Sunday I received another call that my maternal grandmother had just passed that morning.
Neither of these calls were totally unexpected. Both women were in hospice care. They were both in pain, mentally and physically. In a lot of ways, it was a relief. What was hardest was the fact that they died within 3 days of one another.
It makes for a long and emotionally exhausting week.
However, the reason I stopped in here this morning is to share with you the songs that each of these women requested be played at their funerals. On more than one occasion in the last 10 years, each of my grandmas has played me their individual songs, making sure that if every other person in the family was suddenly struck with grief induced amnesia, I was to ensure that we heard these songs when we sat and pondered their lives.
And I have to say, their choices are completely spot on.
Losing two grandmas in the space of 3 days has thrown into sharp focus the differences and similarities of these two women. I've been thinking about how each of them handled society's pressure to be a good wife, mother and woman in a very different way. I may or may not share that here, depending on how coherently I can pull those thoughts together.
But for now, I think their songs say enough...
Thelma- Orange Blossom Special
(When they played this song during the funeral, I started to giggle and then I started to cry as well. I got to the place of such intense giggling and crying that my whole body was silently shaking. I was worried that it was going to just burst out in great waves of sobbing and snorting, but somehow I managed to maintain.)
Juanita- Riviera Paradise
(My MeMaw had a serious crush on Stevie Ray Vaughan. And I have to say I'm totally with her on that one. His music was so sexy and groovy. She never missed an episode of his on Austin City Limits. I hope that he meets her at the Pearly Gates playing this song and then busts right into The House is a Rockin', with her accompanying him on the piano.)