What a heavenly reunion that must have been! Hugs and kisses and joyful smiles and shouts of hallelujah! A mother and two brothers , my grandmother and two uncles, finally reunited again after a long separation. Even though they were just babies when she died, I have no doubt that all of them knew each other when they were all together again. Their dad and grandparents were there , too, and other friends and relatives. I bet my dad was right there excited to welcome them home. All sadness and pain and bad memories disappeared and there was only love and peace and the angels singing God’s praises. Earthy cares and concerned were forgotten and the glory of being together with the children of God filled their hearts and souls.
After a fun family trip to Galveston Beach the day before, my grandmother woke up the next morning as usual and began to get her children ready for school. My uncle Jerry, the oldest, was a school crossing guard and had already left for school. My mom, age 7, was still home with her brothers ages 10 months, 2 years, 3 years and 9 years.
“Beverly, call your grandma and ask her to please come over and help me with the babies because I have a bad headache and I need to lie down. ”
By the time she got grandma on the phone , her mother had become unconscious and she never woke up again. Grandma called an ambulance and rushed to the house. The neighbors seeing the commotion also came to see what was happening. The paramedics could not wake up my grandmother so they rushed her to St. Joseph’s Hospital . Her husband, my grandfather, was called at his job in Deer Park and he headed straight there from his job. But he would not get to talk to his wife again.
The neighbors took the babies to their house so my grandmother could go to the hospital and they told my mom to go on to school. Later they came to get my mom and her older brothers from school and took them home to give them the terrible news before their dad got home, knowing he would be in shock and unable to talk to them. My mom said that was the only time she ever saw her dad cry. He was only 30 years old . He had six children and his wife was gone. Blood poisoning from a boil on her neck had most likely caused an infection or blood clot to the brain and killed her quite quickly.
After that ,everything in my mom’s life changed. My mom’s grandma took the youngest baby and raised him. Her dad hired a maid to take care of the house and children while he worked. My mom learned to cook good Southern food from the maid. She was like a mother to them. But they pretty much had the run of the East end neighborhood where they lived and had all kinds of adventures despite their poverty. Later , my grandfather remarried and that woman’s daughter from her first marriage inherited all of my grandfather’s estate, which had grown to be quite sizable. My mom and her brothers got absolutely nothing. But my mom did not grumble.
My mom grew up to be a strong, intelligent, hard-working woman. She married very young and had six children. Then when my youngest sister was in school , she began her career and is still working. My uncle Darrell, who was the 2 year old, had a good and prosperous life with a wife and children, but recently died in his sleep on Christmas Eve with no warning. My uncle Ricky who I was close to when I was young, was married but they had no children. He died a few years ago after a battle with cancer. My dad died unexpectedly at age 62 after a short battle with cancer. My mom still has three living brothers. I’ll never be ready for her to leave, but, for her sake, I hope when the times comes, she will leave this earth peacefully, in her sleep, and join the happy reunion with her mom and brothers and my dad who have gone on before her. And then someday, I will join her.