January 19, 2010

Emotionally, Physically, and Mentally Tired.

To save me some “How was your weekend?”, I’m going to blog about it.  So don’t get mad if I don’t want to talk to you about it…you are reading this so you should know not to ask me. *asshole mode is now off*

As many of you know, my grandfather passed away last week.  It was a surprise to many of us because he suddenly became ill and we not really prepared for it.  And the majority of us did not get to see him before he died.  It’s no ones fault or anything like that was just how the cards were dealt.  I say this because deaths and funeral are double edge swords, they hurt and like any other weapon they can and will bring drama.

When I first heard he was ill, I wanted to ride down and see him with my cousin that weekend but I had my friend’s wedding commitments.  But that did matter much because he didn’t make it through the week and yes that hurts.  Especially after this weekend.

While down there I got to spend some quality time with my grandmother who is by far the one most effected by the lost and I think people seem to forget that.  I know she may not be the easiest person to get along with but she is the easiest person to read.  So I did my best to make her comfortable.  She is a tough person and don’t want people hanging all over her but at the same time she does need attention and caring so you have to learn to walk that thin line and get a tough skin because she will carry you and hurt your feelings.  That’s just her dealing with things in her own way.

I said I hurt more after the weekend because in talking to her she told me of how in the last hours before my grandfather died he leaned over and said to her, “You know I love you, right?”

She responded, “Yes.  You don’t always say it but I know by the way you act.”

And it’s was true.  They loved each other by the way they acted.  We all saw that.  AND that’s how we all learned to be down the family tree, actions speak louder than words.  So now the pain does not come from my loss but at the loss for my grandmother; of her life companion.

The morning I was to leave to go back to DC, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my grandmother and she asked me if I remembered my other grandfather, my Grandfather Buck Redmond (just Granddaddy, that’s why we say Granddaddy Joe).  I said yes, and I think only me and Bianca remember.  She counted on her fingers how old I was when he died…six and said, “To the rest of the grandkids, he was the only grandfather they knew.”

I agreed and I said “But I considered him was my grandfather too. I was closest to him.”

Enough of the mushy stuff.  While down there I had the opportunity to take pictures of my favorite subject matter – my family.  And I came away with several new favorite pictures.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

Down by the East Carolina Campus there was this store called Jefferson’s.  We went there to get flowers for my other Grandmother to give to my Grandmother.  There was a nice lady working there that was also from Silver Spring, MD.  She said he moved back home to Greenville, NC from Silver Spring.  This is all after my mom said she was from Greenville to and lives in Silver Spring and didn’t plan on moving back.  But the lady goes on talking about the store has been around since the 1920’s and it used to be a department store and how her family would of remembered it.  My mom said one of her aunts may have worked there.  After getting the flowers, while walking back to the car my mom said that she must of had a slip up in thinking in bringing that up.  Back then we wasn’t allowed to shop there, black people could only work there.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

That was Jefferson’s.  It was a really nice looking place.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

Sweet Pea used to be too shy to talk, now she was everywhere.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

Keyani and Sweet Pea both breaking of their shells and asking a million questions.  Keyani is smart as a whip. She said you are my cousin.  I said, no you are my cousin.  She says you are my cousin.  I go, no I’m not your cousin but you are my cousin.  She responds, if I am your cousin then you must be my cousin.  We all become impressed with her, I concede the argument.  That’s my gangster girl, but for other reasons too. She is gangster.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

These girls love the camera and I guess the camera loves the back.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

Another good/bad thing about funerals is that you get to see family and friends you don’t get to see very often.  I see my older cousin (just a year), Bianca, about once every leap year now, extreme opposite from when we were younger.  Before I had a little brother to drag along and play with, BB had me.  Fun fact: I still call her BB.  And every so often you can catch Grandma calling me WeeWee and my mom say Wee.  Oh and BB still says Wee.  The only other family members that call me by a nickname is my Aunt Ann says Willy and Aunt Jessie used whichever of my father’s names she wants to use. LOL  Everyone else is Wee-am or Will.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

While at Sam’s Club getting these photos printed for Grandma (because you know Grandma don’t mess with computers) we ran into more of the drama that goes with funerals.  The lady working there was looking through our photos and recognized my grandmother.  Not surprised by any means, she is one of them people that everyone knows, and loves in their own way.  Well she said she looked through the photos and knew my grandmother and is sorry about the death and mentions her brother died just recently and didn’t know Granddaddy Joe was sick.  And asked when was the services…yesterday.  She repeats she didn’t know about them.  Ok, but then he comes the kicker…She says nicely, “I’m just being nosey but did he work for Wilkerson’s?”  Wilkerson’s was the funeral home service.  My mom says no and keeps it moving.  She was annoyed by the questioning but didn’t show it, I know because she is my mom.  In the car, she says see people talk.  I wondered how did she know the funeral was a Wilkerson’s?  I didn’t get the name of the place in the photos or too many of the general location.  Well apparently, Wilkerson’s is one of the good “White” funeral home in the city.  And her asking if he worked for them and implying that’s why they are holding the service is insulting in retrospect.  I don’t know if it’s a matter of it being a “White” place or it being expensive, it don’t matter it’s still wrong.  Who’s to say where we have it or what we can afford.  Drama, and we really didn’t even know that lady.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

My cousin, Alex from my father’s side was nice enough to take time off from school to help represent the Washington’s.  I remember she saying she was into Art couple years ago but it really sunk in this weekend, maybe I can use her talents for my evil agenda.  Just kidding!

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

This was also the first time I got to see my cousin, Lavon’s little girl.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

She is such a cutie, she keep smiling for my camera when I asked her to show me her teeth. LOL

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

After battling a flat tire on I-95 in the rain, cousin Tamika made it to North Carolina and that meant a lot because she could of just turned around instead of traveling on a donut away from home.

From William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

Just as I was about to leave, Grandma presented me with Granddaddy Joe’s old camera.  She said he used to take really good pictures with it.  I was so touched. The thought was awesome and I never knew he was in to taking pictures.  I just knew he didn’t like being in them. LOL I guess that is like me!  I Wikipedia the camera and it’s from the early 80’s and was a ground breaking consumer SLR camera.  I will learn how to use it remembrance of him and at the same time preserve our family memories.

William Joe Robinson Memorial Weekend

*I’m not big on taking pictures of the dead, but Grandma loved the picture.

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