Patty Griffin — “Mary” (from Flaming Red) — Mary - Flaming Red

For the second time in five or so months, my own personal wing of the Henslee family was forced to bid farewell to one of its own yesterday when my grandmother — our matriarch, who just happened to share a name with this shattering song’s titular heroine — passed away in her sleep. My thoughts are still a bit scattered as I type this, so I’ve nothing terribly profound to say here. This passing is absolutely a sad event, no question about it, but the primary emotion I feel early this morning is gratitude. I’m thankful my cousin’s two sons had the opportunity to know their great-grandmother well into their own adolescences (and that my nephew and my best friend and my partner got the chance to know her at all, however casually). And I’m thankful to have had someone in my life who taught me how to love crossword puzzles, and Yahtzee, and Miss Barbara Mandrell, and Mister John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Miss Deidre Hall, and the thrill of pulling a perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies you made with your own two hands out of a hot oven, and the best damned taco and the best damned spoonful of beef stew you ever put in your mouth. She wasn’t perfect, but neither were any of us; that didn’t stop her from loving us anyway, ferociously, and it didn’t stop her from being, in her own funny way, an angel. (So, so much love to you, Mary Henslee, and whatever destination awaits you next, may your landing be soft and sweet.)

1 response to “every time the snow drifts, every way the sand shifts
(or: october 3’s honey from the hive)”

  1. the buzz from Sherry Ann:

    I am thankful that I got to know her too. She was always such a sweet lady. The thing that I remember most about the times that we visited her was how much she loved you. You are truly blessed to have had her in your life. Love ya.