When I was little, my aunts and uncles took turns taking my widowed paternal grandmother to church. Well, the ones that lived in Texas did. It was a deal where if you couldn’t go, you had to find a sub. My grandmother had 9 children, 8 of which were in Texas. Somehow my dad ended up going every 6 weeks. We’d often go as a family or just with my dad for the weekend. Grandma’s farm was about 2 hours away, in the country, where my dad grew up.
For some reason, when we’d go to leave, I was scared to hug my grandmother. I have no idea why. She was tall, skinny, and somewhat frail, all 13 years I knew her. But up until about age 10, my dad had to practically force my sister and I to go hug her. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t afraid of her, we’d help her cook, do things in the garden, go feed the goldfish and cows for her, etc.
Later on in life, especially after she passed on, I was ashamed of how I acted as a child. She was a wonderful woman and I admired her as early as I can even remember. She was a very devout Catholic, an awesome cook, still kept an amazing 2 acre garden with flowers and veggies up until the day she died. In fact, after her funeral, there are photos of the family standing in a sea of poppies that were in the garden that Easter.
I do know that Easter Sunday in 1993, before we left to go home, I gave her a good long hug. The last hug I ever gave her. I still remember that hug to this day.