There's Not a Day that Goes By.......
I sat there with her,
remembering how she used to sit and watch the hummingbirds
feed from a feeder under the porch roof and all the
redbirds, bluebirds, sparrows, wrens and other birds chasing
each other away from the big feeder we had out in the front
yard. I assured her, saying, "Don't worry, I will."
About that time, her sister Annie and about a half dozen
other members of her family came into the room. They looked
around and one of them cried, "May, where in the world did
all the flowers and that cute poodle come from?" She
replied, "I don't know, look at the card and see."
Well, all eyes were on Annie as she opened the envelope and
took out the card. It read, "To May, with love, signed, Gee
Gee." May said, "See there, I've got someone that loves me,"
and she looked at me and winked. I said, "I guess that I had
better get back to the farm and milk the cows before their
tits bust. I'll see you all later," and walked over and
kissed May, saying, "See you in my dreams." She answered,
"Dreams, hell! How about tomorrow morning in person."
My answer was, "I think I can arrange that," and I walked
out. The next morning, one of her sisters from Marion,
Virginia, came with her kids to see May. She was so weak
that she could hardly talk. I stayed with her until everyone
left. At that time, she dozed off to sleep. I went home, fed
Gee Gee and the birds, watched TV until 11 o'clock, then
took a shower and Gee Gee and I hit the sack.
The next morning around eight o'clock, I stopped at a fast
food restaurant, got a sausage biscuit, hash browns and a
cup of coffee and sat in the van and ate it. When I
finished, I drove to the hospital to see May. I pulled into
the closest parking spot to the entrance and parked.
A guy walked up to
the driver's side of the van and I saw that it was
Glen, May's sister's oldest son. He had a handkerchief,
from his eyes. He said, "May passed away about fifteen
He put his arm around me and we both had a good cry. I
dried my tears and said, "I've got to go see her, Glen."
I went to her room and closed the door. There she was,
sitting with her eyes closed and her mouth like she was
gasping for breath. I went over to the bed, laid my hand on
her outstretched arm and felt her warmth. I said, "Thanks
for the many happy years that you have given me, Honey."
I got up, just as the nurse came into her room. She looked
at me and said, "You all right?" I replied, "Yeah, I'm all
She asked, "Which funeral home shall we call?" I told her,
"We don't need an undertaker, because she willed her entire
body to the Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City."
She said, "Boy, I'm glad you told me that."
She then went to
the switchboard and called the Medical college.
After they rounded up all of May's belongings, they handed
them to me and I left everyone said that I would get over
the grief in a few weeks but they never lived with Reno, the
girl from Nevada or Stella by Candlelite or Darlene and her
diamond shower bath, for fifty three years.
Get over it! There's not a day that goes by that something
doesn't happen to trigger a memory of her.
Two weeks after her
death, I notified her family to help themselves
to anything that they wanted in the mobile home. May had
said that she wanted them to have it all, so they came like
vultures to a dead rabbit. Two days later, there was nothing
left in the place but the sink, the bathtub, built-in air
conditioner, cookstove and the refrigerator.
I sold the mobile home, gave the bird feeders to my next
door neighbor and hit the road, trying to recapture some of
the old days on the carnys.
To be Continued