Mommy, Grandma Jennie, died on Saturday, November 30, 1991, twenty-three years ago.
Marsha Girl was awakened by the sharp shrill of the telephone very early on that morning of November 30, 13 years ago. Who would be calling at this hour of the morning? she wondered sleepily, still exhausted from her Thanksgiving spree.
It was Johnnie, Cousin Johnnie, Dr. John B., calling to tell Marash Girl that her mommy was dead, had died in her sleep. Marash Girl can hear the scream, her own scream, a scream without end, a scream that seemed to be coming from elsewhere, but yes, it was her scream, and her scream of NOOOOOOO! It couldn't be. Mommy was too young. She was too healthy.
Marash Girl threw on a shirt and pants, her coat, and, grabbing her car keys, hurried out the door. Driving as fast as she could over to the house on Lowell Avenue, she finally (it seemed an eternity) arrived at her childhood home, her face covered with tears. She ran up those steep stairs, the stairs she had climbed every day of her young life, every step an eternity. Throwing open the front door, she ran into her mother's bedroom. There was her mother, a look of joy on her face, joy the like of which Marash Girl had never seen. Grandma Jennie had seen Jesus . . . Jesus had come in person to take this woman, Mommy, her mother, her saintly mother, to eternal rest.
That night, Marash Girl dreamed that she went to the family house and walked into the hallway through the front door. There was Grandma Jennie, standing over the stove preparing dinner.
"I knew you weren't dead!" Marash Girl exclaimed in her dream.
We miss you, Mommy.