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I am going home to see Jesus.

Issue Date: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005

Hi, uh.. baby? Yeah,… about that little rant yesterday. I am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I was just so so SO mad about the situation and I realize that I was yelling. But I wasn’t yelling at you baby. Never at you. I was yelling at the situat- yes, the situation.

No, no baby, don’t cry. Your little bottom lip quivering and those big tears welling up in your beautiful eyes just break my heart a bit. And yes, I know… it is Christmas and I should be all holly, jolly St. Nick and all… but I was frustrated baby.

--- Annnnnd scene.

Yeah, I like to call that little piece “emotionally abusive college boyfriend”. It is my little way of giving back to the performance art majors.

It is Christmas after all, and that’s me… Giver McGifty.


That reminds me. I got this message on my phone last night. It went a little something like this: “Yeah, this is Randy the Masterblaster calling for Susan Sweetcheeks, uh, just wanted to wish you a very Happy Holidays Season!”

The voice was low… but oddly feminine. I looked at the caller ID… and snorted.

Yes, snorted. I am so hot.

Dammit Kerry!

She kills me.

And just so she won’t go unnoticed around the Holidays…. I bequeath to you a picture of her. (Click to enlarge)
Too Much Cuteness aka Diabetic Coma
Kerry is the 6ft blonde on the left. (I have another picture on this PC of all of the Kerr Krew – well, not all – from this past year… and damn if I can find it.)

If you see her at the mall this Christmas season. Give her a big hug okay? She loves it when strange people approach and try to cuddle her. Heh.

Well, the holiday season is upon us and I feel all nostalgic. Maybe it is because I am corresponding a bunch with my ex-step-daughter, or maybe it is that I pulled out all of my ornaments from years gone by and placed a few on the tiny little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that is currently residing on my kitchen table… and weeping evergreen sap all over my damn tablecloth. Maybe it is that. Or the fact that I am still a bit emotional about how my husband is being treated at his office. (“No holidays for you! Get back into your well…put the lotion on your skin… or you will get the hose again!”)

But I am thinking about my grandmother, my mother’s mother. She was so tall and stately, her Georgia southern accent so warm and graceful. She was determined that any grandchildren she had would call her “Grandmother”, an elegant, gracious and respectful name. When my sister started speaking at the tender age of zygote, she could not say “Grandmother” and instead she started calling our grandmother… “Butter”.

Butter was thrilled with her unusual and sweet sounding moniker that my sister thought up for her. And as soon as I could speak (I am two years younger than my sister), one of the first things out of my mouth was, “Butter.”

She was so kind and gentle. Her class and elegance was as much a part of her charm as was her sense of humor and her Ferragamo shoes. She embraced both sides of my personality. She would not bat an eye if she found a frog that I put in her bed…because it was cold… and she would allow me to sit at her vanity and try on her 101 tubes of British Coat red lipstick.

Such a sweet woman she never had a crass word to say about anything or anyone. In meeting my soon to be husband when I was but 21 years old, Butter turned to me and said, “He has beautiful hands dear.” She could have said, “But Susan darling, you are young. He has already been married. His family acts like outlaws and he is not employed. Anything that you do to try and improve your situation or the situation of his daughter; if you choose to marry him; will be doubly as hard because you will have to pull him up with you. He is just not our kind.” And yet… she said nothing. Neither did my parents. My sister cried and cried… but as they all knew it would, her plaintive wails fell on deaf ears.

Butter was a champion for my independence.

She loved my mother with a ferocity and loyalty second to none, and she appreciated, respected and valued my father and the adoration he showed for my mother and my sister and I.

I was 22 when Butter was diagnosed with cervical cancer at Christmas. Freshly married that August to the redneck of my dreams (::eyeroll::) I was in Nacogdoches spending the holidays with my new in laws.

My parents (traveling from Denver) and my sister (traveling from Dallas) went to Atlanta to visit Butter. My sister called Christmas Eve crying. She and I had never spent a Christmas apart and Butter was sick. My family needed me.

My new husband had gotten knee walking drunk the night before (with a girlfriend of mine) while I was opening up Christmas presents with his daughter in the living room. He was dreadfully sick the next morning so I took his daughter to her mother’s parents’ house (following me?) for Christmas day, came back home… loaded up the car and loaded up my green husband and headed for Atlanta.

Thirteen hours later I was pulling in to Butter’s condo driveway on Peachtree Street in Atlanta.

My sister was squealing, my mother was crying and my father was hugging me very, very hard. And then I saw Butter. She; for the first time; seemed so small. She had already had one round of treatment and it really took it out of her.

My mother and Butter would spend the next three years going back and forth from Denver to Atlanta for chemo and radiation treatments. My mother would stay with Butter in Atlanta for six weeks while they did the treatments on Butter and then they would both come back to Denver for the healing periods.

My father, having a very stiff upper lip; told me one day that he was in the kitchen in Denver and our family cat, Lucy (who had kitty cat leukemia… and had undergone treatments as well… she went from 14 pound black and white cat to a 7 pound brown and white cat) was sitting next to Butter on the couch in the den. Lucy always sat with Butter, she never left her side while Butter was sick.

Butter reached over to Lucy, patted her on the head and said, “Yeah, I don’t feel too good today either.”

That was the only complaint my father ever heard from Butter. And she had no idea he could hear her. My big, strong father cried while telling me this.

One afternoon a few years later while I was working at my menial job at JM Clipper in Nacogdoches, cross training a big burly man from the plant, Butter called me to tell me, “Susan, it’s Butter, I just wanted to tell you that I love you. I am going home to see Jesus. Be a good girl now. I love you so much! Take care of your mother. Bye, bye.”

I told her how much I loved her and held on until she hung up. I then promptly lost my shit.

My mother called me a few days later to tell me that Butter had been put into Hospice Atlanta. I headed to Georgia as fast as I could. I made my flight head out of Houston since it was closer than Dallas.

On my way to Bush International Airport in Houston I felt my grandmother in the truck beside me.

I stopped at the next gas station (no cell phone dontcha know) and called my mother to see what just happened. My mother was crying and she said, “How do you always know?” I asked her what she was referring to and she told me that Butter had just had her first white light experience.

I got into Atlanta, took the MARTA to a station close to the hospice and my mother picked me up. As soon as we got to the hospice, I crawled in bed with Butter. She woke up and grabbed my face with strength that belied her condition, told me I was beautiful and went back to sleep. I had the privilege of staying with Butter overnight and watching her helpless gestures, her breathing turning into a death rattle and all things associated with dying. I helped bathe her and massaged her little wasted leg muscles, until I had to head back to Texas a few days later.

It was the most precious gift I have ever received. Being with someone who was so strong of faith and watching them pass was beautiful. I can not tell you guys that enough. She was a strong Christian woman who was ready to go. Her body was just too strong to let her go when she was ready with her heart.

Great. Tears in the office. Again.

Her funeral was sweet and attended by a frillion people, as she was involved in so much while living in Atlanta. The whole church turned out, her usher’s group, all of the people that she knew from Trust Company Bank (she was a VP… smart, smart lady) and many, many others. The tribute was perfect and we got to have a private service the night before for just family.

I miss her terribly.

Anyway. This Christmas with my mother being under the weather with her knee reconstruction and… just all of that… is really making me long for when I was a bit younger. I wish that Butter could have met Mister. She would have loved him like the rest of my family, immediate and extended. She probably would have complimented more than his hands, I can tell you that much right now.

So, cherish your loved ones. Tell them that you love them as often as you get a chance. You never know when your traditions will suddenly change and you won’t get the chance to express your feelings.

Love you all. Really. Thank you for reading and making this little space of webdom so special to me.

Merry Christmas ya’ll.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

The Graphic Below Courtesy of Papernapkin.

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