Vivian Johnson Rauls: My Fondest Memories Of My Life

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As I sat in the hospital watching her slip away, I thought of my fondest memories of my Nana, Vivian Johnson Rauls. She was a southern belle from Fort Worth, Texas. A black girl who went to college at the age of 15 and came up during the depression. She had long fingernails with the nail beds painted a rosy pink. She left the tips white – something I never understood but would help her do. She liked loafer shaped pumps with chunky, square heels and always got her hair done in a roller set full of ringlets. My brother and I were three and four years old when she came to get us. My parents’ marriage had imploded. Both of them, caught up in the aftereffects, were too afflicted by addiction to parent small children. As a result, we were staying …show more content…
Half way through the first paragraph, it hit me like a thousand-pound weight on my chest. I was laying someone to rest whom I had loved all of my life. Someone who had always been there. Someone I never had to live without. Through my sobbing, I wanted to tell her everything I didn’t say enough of. I still have things that were left unsaid, and I always will. Death is more difficult for the living. Life is a fluid known and unknown state of being. When we transcend to our next place, acceptance equals warding off bouts of insanity – the moments when you ask why repeatedly no matter how logical the answer is.
I tried to put on a good face for my boys, but I knew they could see the pain in me. My amazing friends and family covered me. My mother said, “Just know now you have a guardian angel watching over you better than anyone on two feet ever could.” I couldn’t focus on that. How could I focus on that? The truth was, I had a new life to start in the wake of the greatest heartache I had ever felt, and each day was a question of whether or not I could do it.
Bereavement runs out when you continue waking up to tear-stained pillows, and in the middle of your pain, you realize the world won 't stop for it. You realize that you were never given an exemption or pass from having to feel grief like this, and it will one day happen
…show more content…
I don’t remember the exact day I stopped crying. But, I do remember her expectations of me. I remember our conversations, and I remember her voice as she called Victor from the Young and the Restless “an old pimp.” She hasn’t gone anywhere. She is here taking steps with me and is here every time I write from a clear and transcendent place.
It has been almost three years, and through every step, I have been forced to see my brokenness for what it is and find the healing. Every emotional pocket I stuffed inside me since the day she showed up in that Seahawks sweat-suit emptied itself, and I was now left sorting through the pieces. She taught me that when it comes to the spirit, nothing that is broken is ever empty, and I thank her for teaching me that and more.
I thank her by not accepting limitations set forth by other people. I thank her by keeping my fears in check. I thank her by being perfectly imperfect and still knowing I am worthy. I thank her by teaching my sons that they are enough, and all they have to ever be is their best and that alone is noble. I thank her by remembering every-thing she did to bring out the best in

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