“Jacinta baby, wake up!” I feel someone rubbing on my arm. It is a familiar touch. The sound alone is soft and sweet. My eyes flutter open. The morning sunlight flutters through my bedroom blinds. I don’t see the voice of the person that has asked me to wake up. “Where are you? What’s going on?” The house is extra still, Baylor is not barking he is still at the foot of the bed sleep. Standing over me is my grandmother. I’m in shock. She died when I was 15 years old. She starts to rub my arm and again, “Jacinta baby, wake up!” I am stunned. This can’t be real, but here she is standing right here at my bedside asking me to wake up. I look behind me on my other side and Chico is sleeping so peacefully. I turn back around and Goodmomma is still standing there patiently waiting. She is dressed and she looks like she is ready to go. Again, I ask her, ‘Momma what’s going on? Am I dreaming? You are dead.” She gives me her “I love you so much” look. “Baby, I never died.”
How could any of this be? Goodmomma dying was one of the worst things that could have ever happened to me. Of course the reason why I was with her in the first place trumps that incident, but her leaving this Earth was horrific. Life changed dramatically for me. So to see her standing here in front of me asking me to wake up, is mind blowing. I reach to touch her hand and I feel her. I am actually touching her. This has to be a dream, but this touch is real. “What are we doing? Momma, how did you get back?” My conversation is already questionable, but in addition, it seems insane. This has to be a dream. I guess Goodmomma is sensing my thought process and she tells me that this is real, that she is in fact not a figment of my imagination. I get up and we start to walk to the kitchen. This is where you are on her turf, her territory. This is my kitchen, but all of that goes out of the window when Momma is in there pulling out pots and pans. I panic. What if I don’t have the groceries that she needs to make whatever it is that she is trying to prepare? “Momma, I don’t know if I have the groceries that you need.” She laughs at this comment. “Now baby, you know I have everything that I need to make you some food. You need to eat. I can tell you haven’t been feeling well. That’s why I am here to take care of you. ”
The relief that I felt seeing this woman after so many years is indescribable. I don’t know how she is alive. She said that she had never died. We had an eloborate funeral for her. Everyone in my family was devestated. The city of Atlanta was in grief. God took one of his greatest. Daddy made sure that Goodmomma had the softest cushions inside her casket. This death was so personal and so hurtful that we could only share what we saw of her in that casket to just the people we wanted to see her. When most people think of funeral or a wake for that matter, they all believe in going to a wake or a viewing the day before the actual funeral. The funeral home will either let you use a parlor room for viewing or a chapel for a wake. My family on the other hand, went way left field. I didnt know that they were planning to do what they did. They never consulted Jordan or myself as to how we felt about this decision.
They brought Goodmomma back to the house the night before the funeral. They wanted her to come home before she left us for good. This is weird and I had never heard of anyone bringing the casket back to the decease’s house. Wake or no wake, this was the most oddest thing ever. I even thought that it may have been illegal, but I guess not. They allowed that casket to be open throughout the entire night in our own living room. This infuriated me. I did not want to see her like this. Being dead was one thing, bringing her casket home was another. Unlike everyone who had made the decision, my father included, none of them besides my grandfather had to live in that house after all of this was over. I still have nightmares of that night. It was traumatic and in my opinion morbidly stupid on my family to have even celebrated her life like they did.
The funeral was even more dramatic. I don’t remember most of it. I just know that I had never been so heartbroken in my life. We sat at the cemetery and my entire family watched and waited until the last grain of dirt was placed on her. Something from me was buried right there in that hole with her. I would never be the same again and that is the second time that I would have to step up to the plate to take care of myself and Jordan again. But here I am at my kitchen counter watching her fix my favorite breakfast. I watched them bury her. Did they bury someone else. Was there someone else in that coffin that sat in our living room all night the day before her funeral? I have to know. “Momma, I was at your funeral, they brought you back to the house the night before the funeral for your wake. How is it that you never died? You still look the same. It is if you hadn’t aged.”
I was finally able to get some good sleep for a change. Baylor is licking my face so that I can get up. I guess he is ready to go outside. The weather seems nice enough. The sun peaking through the blinds tells me this. I lift my head and look to get my phone. So far, no missed calls or texts. I rub my face and turn to see if Cint is still sleeping. She isn’t. I slip on some pajama pants and I head down to the kitchen to see if she is there. Baylor is quickly on the back of my heels following me. On the way to the stairs, I notice that Joseph still has the door shut to the room he slept in last night. After we left the hospital, he came home with us. It was probably for the best. There wasn’t a need for him to go to Jordan’s, especially when she was still in the hospital. I could tell that he was still somewhat concerned about Jacinta. I suggested he stay with us. He followed Cint and I in her car back to our house.
I get to the bottom of the stairs and my eyes are either playing tricks on me or I am still sleepy. Jacinta has pots and pans all over the kitchen counters. All of her kitchen gadgets are lying everywhere. Drawers are open and even the Kitchen Aid Mixer is on a medium speed. No food is in any of the pots, nor does she have anything mixing in the mixer. Baylor goes in front of the oven and starts to bark. I turn the oven off and look inside. There are sheet pans in there, but no food baking. “What the fuck?” Jacinta is sitting at our breakfast bar. She looks confused but when she sees me, a huge smile comes onto her face. “Babe, do you remember my grandmother, Goodmomma that raised me? She didn’t die!!! She came to see about us. It is a misunderstanding. She didn’t die after all. She is back with us. “Momma, this is my husband Chico. I just know that you will love him more than I do. He is a wonderful man! I never thought that he would ever be able to formally meet you. I always wished that you could see how we turned out. Momma, I hope that you are proud of me.” I look around the kitchen and I let out a huge sigh. “Babe, what’s wrong. Don’t act like this in front of Goodmomma.” I grab her hand and look into her eyes and I have to be the messenger of bad news. “Baby, Goodmomma is not here. She is still dead and still at Westview Cemetery. There is no one in this room. “But baby, she is cooking my favorite breakfast.”
She looks so confused and let downed. I go to turn off the Kitchen Aid Mixer and the water coming out of the faucet. “Babe, I think you are having an episode.”