September 12, 1987 was the first time I, personally, had proof of the existence of God or whatever makes sense to you; Allah, Higher Power, Creator, Goddess (my personal favorite).
I am a person who has had a complicated relationship with God. I feel spiritual but not religious. I believe, but I need constant convincing.
Grace Hagan would more than likely be 88 years old today had she never picked up a cigarette. She beat breast cancer at a time when many woman didn't, she survived a depression era up bringing as one of ten children (of whom only two are left) on a hard-working family farm, but she couldn't beat cigarettes. An on-going theme for the people I love most. She has been gone for 24 years; more than half my life. I still have moments of picking up the phone to call her. I was 16 when she died.
My Grandma quit smoking when she was 54 and died for ten years. During the time my Grandma was dying, the only real medicine available for emphysema was the steroid prednisone. My mom is the same age that my Grandma was when she died, I look at her arsenal of medicines and have hope that she will live much longer than her mother did.
So, back to God. In September of 1987, I was a bussing tables at a steak house where I had worked for a long time. Earlier in the day I had been at 707 Washington Street (my Grandparent’s house) and things with my Grandma had been getting progressively worse. I was also sick; I had probably 102 degree fever. My mom asked me to stay home and I said I just needed to get out of there and go to work. I went in to say goodbye to my Grandma and she had finally fallen asleep, I didn’t want to wake her up.
I went home, got ready and went into work. I think it was around 4pm. When I walked in I told the owner that I wouldn’t be staying for my entire shift. When she asked why I told her that my Grandma was going to die and she just looked at me like I was crazy.
Just after 7pm I was standing over an empty table and I felt my Grandma walk up behind me, I felt her hand on my shoulder, and I heard her tell me goodbye. What I remember most is that it was the first time she sounded alive in a long time. To this day, I have never felt such an overwhelming feeling of peace. Ever. I picked up the phone to call her house and got a busy signal. I tried to call my friend Anissa to get her to go check the house, she wasn’t home. I walked in the back, got my coat and purse, and went out to the hostess stand where the owner was still looking at me like I was crazy because, waiting in the front of the restaurant, was my mom’s friend Carol who had come to take me to my Grandparent’s because my Grandma had died at 7:07pm.
Today is my Grandma’s birthday. Happy Birthday Grace Genevieve Outhouse-Hagan, you are missed every day.