Monday, September 26, 2016

Why One, but Not the Other?

This post has been sitting in my drafts since August 2013 and I'm just now getting around to posting it...

My paternal grandmother, Margaret, went to be with the Lord at the age of 89 on August 14th.

We went to Virginia for her service and burial and I was filled with sweet memories of both my dad's parents. I will always treasure those times and wish my future children could have known them besides just through stories and pictures.

My siblings and I loved going to stay with our grandparents (Mamaw and Papaw we called them) in Waynesboro, Virginia. Mamaw was the best cook and I fondly remember sitting in the swivel chair in their kitchen, watching her make us our favorites, such as mac-n-cheese or pancakes. I can't taste chocolate milk or grape soda without being brought right back to being in their home. After our visit and just before we were to leave, I would sit on my Papaw's lap and he'd give me some dollar bills, which for a kid is a big and exciting deal. One time, their basement flooded and I helped clean up. I felt so special and important that day. They had a pool table in the basement that we enjoyed playing. Everything was always so clean and orderly. Mamaw was a wonderful housekeeper and wife, after marrying my grandpa at only 15!

with my Mamaw and Papaw

3 generations - me with my grandmother and dad (I think I resemble them both)..
This was taken at my baptism at Mint Springs in Crozet, Virginia, the summer that I was 14/15 

When I read my grandmother's obiturary, I noticed right away that Lily wasn't included in the great-grandchildren. I was sad, but understood that others just don't "get it" and was trying to be understanding about it.

Then I noticed it said this: "In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Alvin, of 65 years in 2003; her brother, Douglas Hunt; and a great-grandson, Tristan McLaughlin." I was confused... who is her great-grandson, Tristan? I'd never heard of him. I asked my dad and he informed me that my cousin got into a car accident when she was pregnant and lost her baby a long time ago, around half-way through the pregnancy. My cousins on my dad's side are all more like aunts because there is a large age-gap.

So, wait a minute... one baby lost in my family was included in the obituary, but not the other?! Lily is my grandmother's only great-granddaughter and my dad's only grandchild (at the time of my grandmother's passing). I am truly shocked and hurt.

Apparently Tristan's aunt (my cousin) wrote the obituary. Because of how much older my cousins are than me and the fact that I rarely see them, I have never been close with them. I am sad I never knew about Tristan. I am glad he was included, but my girl should have been too. It's not like they don't know about her... She would have only been 3 1/2 when my grandmother passed. I wish my dad had said something to stand up for Lily. I guess he thought nothing could be done about it by that point and he didn't want to stir anything up, but still, it could have been done in a loving and gentle way. Maybe they thought we wouldn't want her included, which I don't know why they would assume that, considering obviously they knew they wanted Tristan's name listed.

I feel like I am constantly fighting this battle to get others to care about Lily and recognize her value and irreplaceable place in my family... I even feel this way with my family. It reminds me of something I wrote before: No striving on my part to get others to recognize her value will make her any more valuable. Simply by existing, she matters. And I can rest in knowing her value doesn't change depending on what others think of her. My love is no less real even if people don't understand.

These flowers were from one of the arrangements at Mamaw's service. I took these to Lily and my Aunt Rachel after the service... obviously roses and lilies remind me of Lily and daisies remind my grandmother Bumma of her baby daughter, Rachel. Baby's breath is also sweet and reminds me of my girl.


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