A Mountain No Longer Falling Apart

By Jamie J. Brunson

It wasn’t until now that I could tell you the year that my Grandmother died. It was 2002.
I was there, of course, with her at the very end. She was my best friend, my confidante. She was the only mother I ever knew. Everybody else had a mother. She was mine. So where else would I have been when she was having stoke after terrible stroke and dying?
Well, I was there, but I wasn’t.
The last thing I remember was my birthday. We had a tradition in my family. On your birthday, you got a cake at Granny’s house. We all got together and sang Happy Birthday. Granny’s birthday was December 31. Mine is January 28. Granny was in the hospital on her birthday and on a liquid diet, so we had to postpone cake. She was in the hospital on my birthday too, but could eat solid food. I remember calling the family together and bringing a cake to her room for both of us. When I got to the hospital, Granny was having another stroke. She was unconscious. I couldn’t wake her up. I called and I called out to her. She couldn’t hear me. After that, I came and went and handled all the business of her life and death – but I was gone.
Oh, I do remember our last day together. Granny loved airplanes. Couldn’t get her on one, but she loved to watch them. Her hospital room faced the airport. Before Granny died, she looked at me one last time. Then she looked out the window at an airplane ascending into the clouds. She couldn’t speak. Up until then, I wasn’t sure whether or not she was blind. When I saw her eyes follow the plane into the clouds, I knew that she wasn’t blind. And I thanked God.
I’m writing this down because I can’t tell you these words myself. I’m still holding myself together and if I try to tell you with my mouth, I may come unglued.
I believe funerals should be a celebration of someone’s life. That’s how I got through Granny’s funeral. I decided it wasn’t about me – and it wasn’t. It was about giving a fitting farewell to the greatest lady I ever had the privilege of knowing – the queen of my family. I wasn’t about to “carry on” at her funeral, or do anything to take away from her homegoing.
I made a conscious decision not to walk up to that casket, and drop dead. I wanted to. Instead, my Spirit held tight to my bones to stay in. I often wonder if I did the right thing staying here. I think the kids needed me. I pray I’ve done some service to life by being here.
It’s been seven long years. Seven childbearing years, seven years of unsung songs, unspoken words of love, unknown people, places and things – beautiful things I missed ‘cause I was sleeping. No one’s fault but mine. And my falling apart was so utterly complete, that I didn’t even realize I had stopped being. My head was too full of babbling thoughts about things that don’t travel, have substance or real names.
So a couple of weeks ago I noticed I wasn’t feeling well. I was sitting on the sofa struggling to breathe. My nephewson, Vincy called me to come to Granny’s house. Everybody was there. Only Vincy could have gotten me to come out of the house when I was feeling so bad. But he needed me — and I got his back, ‘cause that’s how we do!
As I was driving to Granny’s house, I realized how bad I felt. So after I went to Granny’s house, I went to the emergency room of the hospital. The same hospital Granny died in. Turns out I was in a major asthmatic crisis. They kept me there for 5 days. Had I not come when Vincy called, I would not be here today.
So, I’m lying in the same hospital that Granny died in. In a room on the same floor as she. I’m telling you this because I won’t be able to talk about it – so please don’t ask me.
I was laying in my hospital bed thinking about Granny’s last dayl…feeling the oxygen in my nose…that airplane out her window…the steroids they were giving me that burned me all over…Vincy and Danielle are REALLY worried about losing me… my last words to Granny… if I die, will they fall asleep deep inside and lose precious years trying to find their way in their own darkness?…the words I said to Granny every night before she fell asleep… Doreen called to tell me she doesn’t come to hospitals anymore….I have to pay more attention to her pain…she is hurting too… the words that were just between us…who will be next among us to die?…Good night Granny, I love you very much, have sweet dreams, I’ll see you in the morning…. after that she closed her eyes and went on home without me…I didn’t realize how big these hospital rooms are…nobody whispers goodnight in my ear….
My thoughts boiled, then like the steamy mist on the pot, lifted off me. And I am different. I can’t tell you that instantly I became healed. I can’t say I resolved anything in particular. I’m thinking that’s not the way of things. I’ll cry for years to come. But lancing wounds then exposing them to air brings about change. The act of it calls up Hope so confidently that Hope must come and lay down – a bridge between today’s pain and the promise of tomorrow.
I’m awake now and I feel like a mountain.
Almost a year ago at worship service, Bishop Weeks said, “God is so powerful, He’ll bring you through something so terrible that you’ll know it was only God who could bring you through.”
Well, I came through something. I don’t know the fullness of it yet, or the long-term ramifications. But I know that I have come through something. And I know, without question, Who brought me out.
Today …
I know I fell down and I was carried by the Master of the Universe.
I am a mountain that is no longer falling apart.
Life’s ripples are silent. Maybe not forever, but for now the silence is peaceful.
I am remembering the Me I was before I fell apart.
My mouth is full of thankfulness, praise and humbleness.
I am whole and the Master is rocking me gently.


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