Today I decided to drop in to my favorite gas station and pick up a Friday sweet cake and Starbucks cold frapachino. For months I had stopped in there and picked up a cup of their terrible coffee. The coffee was not the reason I stopped there. I stopped there because of an old delightful woman named Deb.
We had become acquaintances and would spend 15 minuets talking about her grand children and my son and the state of the world. She was smart and funny. The first few times I stopped in I had forgotten her name. It became a bit of a joke so I would ask her, her name every time. She would smile and tell me Deb, never her last name.
I had not gone to the gas station in months because of a change in my morning routine and today I made a special trip there just to see her. At the counter sat a decidedly younger girl and as she checked the person at the counter out I asked her where Deb was and if she was well. The girl looked like she was tired of giving the answer and sad at the fact that another person had to hear the news. Deb had passed away 2 weeks ago.
Deb had cancer and had told no one about it not even her kids. She smoked too much and it had caught up with her in a way that was simply untreatable. Deb loved the morning shift because it gave her plenty of time to read and plenty of time at home. She had 2 grand children both girls and she loved the. He trailer house was too hot and her back did not allow her to sleep in a traditional bed. She slept in a recliner and I believe one of her children still lived with her. She was in her late 50's early 60's (you never ask a woman her age).
As I went to the back drink cooler to gather my purchases I fought back some tears and then smiled. Because I knew that Deb knew the Lord. She was not a devote christian but several times she had told me she knew Jesus and that she loved him.
Deb's death has got me thinking about the older people in my life and how sometimes for whatever reason death reflects off of my emotions like so much rain on a wind shield. For some reason Deb has really brought to the fore front the resent losses me and my wife have undergone. I want to list them here because .... I don't want to forget.
Nana - My little grandmother and my mom's mom. She was a wonderful lady who liked owls and me.
Grandmaw Mortin and M&M Pop - She was traditional with bright white hair. He was a big man hard and loving. He loved her deeply.
Papaw - He died most recently. Cancer and other health problems took him. The thing is I don't think he would have died had he not given then permission. He was that kind of man. The kind that commanded respect and always smelled of earth and cigars. I loved him.
Grandeen - My wife's great great grandmother. She lived to be 99 and my favorite memory of her is when we caught her eating the biggest piece of chocolate cake ever. Well well well.
Uncle Butch - He was taken too early from us by a heart attack. He inspired me because Uncle Butch liked what he liked and was very unapologetic about it. He also loved God and his family very much.