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Grandma Pickney

January 20, 2007

My grandmother on my Dad's side, Grandma Pickney, passed away tonight in Nashville from pneumonia. She had suffered from Alzheimer's for the past few years, stealing her formerly razor-sharp mind from her. It hurt me to see her in that condition, slowly having her mental faculties taken from her, with nothing doctors could do to stop the process. It hurt really bad, not only for me, but for all of us in the family, to see her in that condition.

Grandma Pickney's death marks the second grandparent that I've lost in the past six months (Granddaddy Blaylock lost his battle with leukemia in August of last year.) It's not easy at all, losing those who are close to you. Life is cruel like that; the clock never stops ticking. It's situations like this where a family has to lean on each other for support.

On Monday morning I'm driving to Nashville for the gathering of friends/family which will take place Monday night, and then the funeral in Nashville will be on Tuesday.

A woman of principle, Grandma Pickney was a shining example of determination, hard work, and holding true to values. She, along with my late Grandpa Pickney (the man whose name I share), raised eight children. Eight! They installed the importance of hard work into their kids, which in turn helped them tremendously in their lives.

I spent three summers working out at the house on River Road where Grandma and Grandpa lived, spending 1992 and 1993 with them, and then with Grandpa having passed earlier in the year, with Grandma in 1995. Those summers were brutally hard in the work I had to do, but I'll forever treasure and appreciate the time that I had to spend with both of them.

When I was younger, in the 5 or 6 or 7 year old range in the early 1980s, I remember being out at the old Pickney Store on River Road. Long since closed, I remember spending time in there with Grandma working behind the counter. I remember the old-style cash register, the shelves lined with groceries (very similar to the layout of convenience stores that are commonplace now but which were rare in the 60s/70s.)

I have a scar on my forehead that I got from busting my head open by running into the one and only grocery store cart when I was five years old; I remember having to get stitches when it happened. I remember Grandma letting me drink coca-colas from the cooler, in the old-style glass bottles that they had in those days. Occasionally I'd opt for Yoohoo (also in bottles) over soda, all of which came with beer-bottle style caps that had to be pried off with a metal cap opener installed in the wall. Fun times, those were.

It will be good to see family members who I haven't been around in a long time in the next few days, though obviously it's not under the best of circumstances...

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