"Take care Jeff, I love you."
Those are the last words that I will ever hear from my grandmother. Her large heart finally tinkered out as she had spent her whole life sharing and giving love to everyone that she came in contact with.
I talked to her on Sunday morning, Mother's Day. She sounded much better than I have heard her in months. Although she had just woken up, she didn't sound groggy. She was aware, clear, and strong voiced. She talked about how she had fallen a few times and that she hoped we would make it home to visit soon.
I knew as I hung up the phone that this was possibly the last time that I would ever talk to her. Later in the day, I received the call that she was fading quickly. A few minutes later, on this past Sunday, my brother Bobby called to tell me Mimi had died.
Growing up, I never thought Mimi would die. She was definitely the strong type. She was a traveling nurse and when we were little she would take us to visit her patients. She cared for each of them deeply and even long after she retired, she would still receive little trinkets from the patients that they would leave to her in their wills. Color didn't matter, it just needed to be someone in need and Mimi was there. On our trips, we would generally get to see some of the most rural places around the area where I grew up. We got to watch Mimi in action and we always had a picnic lunch in some country church parking lot. It was usually the same, potted meat or vienna sausage and crackers.
As I got older and Mimi retired, I got to work in the garden with her. We would pick turnip greens in the afternoons after school and then go to the highway and sell them. I, personally, cannot stand turnip greens but the people around town sure love them. Sometimes, she would call out my spelling words to me while we worked.
Growing older, Mimi continued to help people. Always cooking meals at the church. Even in the past year, when hurricane evacuees came to the little town of Durant, Mimi headed the charge to open up the church and she diligently went to cook meals for the people in need.
Mimi, I never thought she would die, but I am so thankful that she lived. She touched countless lives. Tonight at the visitation, people came from all over. There were tons of people talking about different things that Mimi had done for them. The ages and race of the people varied as much as the different acts of kindness.
I loved Mimi and I will miss her, but I am so thankful that she is now receiving her reward for a life of faith and good works.