Grandma Update

Grandma went to the hospital on Monday of this week. On Wednesday, we were told that she would be going home.  A few hours later, we were told they were going to keep her one more night.  Still later, we were told they were releasing her.

The uncertainty made me nervous.

She went home on Wednesday night only to be rushed back to the ER today.  She’s been (re)admitted to the hospital and has been waiting for a few hours to be placed in a room.

Since this blog is all about being thankful, let me first say that I am thankful that she is in a place that has the capacity to take care of her if something really bad happens.  The alternative would have her at home suffering with no help in sight.

Now that I’ve said that, I also need to say how upset and angry I am that things are happening in this way.  If they had to vacillate between keeping her and sending her home, why not just keep her to be safe?  Was the decision to send her home based on some other factor than what was in her best interest?  Why is she now having to wait for a bed?  Considering her symptoms and her age, why is she not more of a priority? They do realize that she is somebody’s grandma, right?

I am angry.  I am hurt.  I am scared.  I am far away.  I am powerless.  I am praying.

I’m going to have a slice of The Sweet Potato Pie and go to bed.

Me and Grandma at our local version of The Taste in 2013.

Me and Grandma at our local version of The Taste in 2013.

Grandma and The Sweet Potato Pie

Yesterday morning, my Grandma was taken to the hospital by ambulance. My sister called to give me the news. It was hard to make out what she was saying between her heaving and teary breaths.

Let me make an aside here. It’s actually kind of crazy how the news was disseminated. My Grandma in Virginia called my aunt in North Carolina to say she wasn’t feeling well and was going to the hospital. At least that’s what I think happened. My aunt then called my mother, who was in northern Virginia, to tell her what was going on. Mom didn’t answer because she was busy with my nephew and missed the called. My aunt then called me, but I too missed the call. I was pumping gas and had left my phone in the car. My aunt then called my sister in D.C. who should never be the first person in the family to get bad news about grandma. She and Grandma are super tight and my sister doesn’t handle even the idea of Grandma being sick very well. My sister then called me in Maryland and I in turn called Mom. Mom was using her irritated fussy voice with me when explaining to me that Grandma had yet to call 911. Grandma decided it best to get dressed first. That irritated Mom to no end. I don’t know if she fussed at Grandma, but she certainly used her fussy voice with me about the whole thing.

The symptoms that Grandma described were very serious and so we were all a little nervous and a lot scared once we heard what was going on.

Grandma’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks and the first thing I thought was, “Please don’t let her leave during this time of year. That would just be awful.” Then I started thinking about this time of year, which conjured up thoughts of Grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie. My Grandma makes the best sweet potato pie in this universe and the next. I know you think your grandma’s pie is the best, but you’re wrong. My Grandma’s pie can beat your grandma’s pie on any given day. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas I can be sure that Grandma will send me home with a pie.

A couple of years ago, I got her to teach me how to make the pie. I know I wrote down what she told me, but when I went to try to make the pie a few months ago, I couldn’t find the instructions anywhere. The result was horrible. I forgot some important ingredient and the thing didn’t bake up right at all. So right before Thanksgiving this year, I called Grandma with pen and paper in hand, so that I could once and for all have this recipe.

“Grandma, I can’t remember how to make The Sweet Potato Pie. I have three or four large sweet potatoes. How much butter do I need?”

“Three or four large potatoes? How big are they?”

“I don’t know. They’re big, but they all fit in my big pot without a problem.”

“Hmmm…. well, you’ll probably need three or four sticks of butter.”

“Three or four?”

“Yes. I bake by seeing, so if they’re big potatoes, I think three or four sticks should do it.”


She went on to give me other general guesstimates of amounts of the other ingredients, but when it came to sugar, her tune changed.

“How much sugar should I use, Grandma?”

“You’ll need one cup of sugar.”

“Just one cup?”

“Yep. You’ll need one cup of sugar.”

Her sudden exactness made me laugh to myself. I made mention of it in the notes I was taking so that I would always remember it.

I made the pie filling the night before Thanksgiving. I baked one pie and froze the remaining filling. The night before I got the call that Grandma was going to the hospital, I unthawed that filling and baked the pie. Right before I got the call, I was thinking about how good that pie was going to taste for dessert that night.

I love Grandma for many, many reasons. She is loving and loyal, steadfast and resilient, funny, strong, and kind. Whenever I taste her Sweet Potato Pie I think of her; I think of who she is and all that she means to me. Now that I know how to make it, I can be sure that those thoughts and memories will never fade, for if they do, all I have to do is pull out my recipe to conjure them up again.

I talked to Grandma last night and she seemed her regular spunky self. She should be discharged tonight or tomorrow.

Tonight, when I eat a slice of pie, not only will I bless the food, I’ll also be asking a special blessing for my Grandma, the originator of the best sweet potato pie known to mankind.


Me and Grandma at my law school graduation in 2006.


Wonderful Weekend

I’ve been away from both the blog and the Facebook page for a few days because I’ve been out of town and had very spotty service.  So much happened during my visit home that I am thankful for, it could take up a few posts.  So as not to bore you, I’ll be succinct and condense it all into one post.

Wednesday, July 30th – I drove home to Virginia on this day.  There is so much beauty between the Bay and the mountains.  While I hate the long drive, I enjoy taking in the scenery.  I also enjoy being in the car with my favorite tunes.  This trip was all about James Brown.  I am so thankful that I made it to Virginia safely.
Thursday, July 31st – I had lunch with Grandma on this day.  She wanted a chicken sandwich, so I brought her some Chick-fil-a and we sat and talked.  I got completely caught up on all the family happenings and what has been happening in Grandma’s neighborhood.  We talked about life and we talked about God.  It was a great conversation.  I love my grandma and I’m very thankful for her.
 Friday, August 1st – I had breakfast and another good conversation with grandma.  Lunch was with my best friend from high school.  We don’t talk very often, but when we do, we’re able to pick right back up without missing a beat.  It’s funny how two people that have so much in common found each other so early in life.  I’m thankful for her.
Later in the day, I fulfilled the purpose of my trip home.  I took my Dad and Stepmom to see the new James Brown movie, “Get On Up”.  The movie was absolutely phenomenal and it surpassed our expectations.  After the movie, we went to dinner and continued to talk about the movie.  We had such a good time.  The dinner conversation turned to family and I heard a lot about my family that I’d never heard before. This was one of those occasions that I’m sure we will be talking about for years to come.  I’m thankful that I decided to make seeing the movie with Dad a priority and I’m thankful that we were able to experience it together.

Saturday, August 2nd – I traveled back to Maryland without incident and for that I am thankful.

Sunday, August 3rd – Matilda let me sleep until 8:15.  Very thankful for that.  I spent the rest of the day sleeping, thinking, resting, researching, and writing.  It felt good to be a bit productive today.
This was such a great little getaway.  I’m hopeful that it will sustain me for quite awhile.