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Continuous Change

By , Destrehan, LA
We all have someone close to our hearts that we would love to learn more about and get to know a little bit better. Do you have someone in mind? I know I do… Seventy – two years ago a young girl named Christi was born in the home of a close and large family. She was born in Hammond, but at the age of five her family moved to Florida. Not too long after they moved back to Louisiana but this time to Ponchatoula. This is where her Grandma lived on a farm which she enjoyed very much. Again her family moved, this time back to Hammond. Living there made it easier for her mom to get to work as a nurse. Her mom worked long hours of 11p.m. to 7 a.m. So every time her mother would come home from work, together, she and her siblings would sing a song that went like this: “Good morning to you, good morning to you, we’re all in our places, with bright shining faces. This is the day to have a good day…” and that is all of the song that she could remember. She loved singing for her mother, hoping to make things simpler for her mom and trying to do something kind.

When my grandma was little, she only wanted to have one daughter with no husband and no grandchildren. But this was a time when she didn’t know that you had to have a husband to have a child. It’s something she and I both found to be funny when she talked about it. She thinks God had a sense of humor when she ended up having a husband plus five children. To add to that she now has a total of twenty-four grandchildren. She eventually realized what it was like to have such a big family of her own. And I can tell she’s proud of each and every one of her children and grandchildren. I found it very interesting getting to learn new things about my grandma. Wait. Let me restate that I mean my Mimi. We all call our grandma Mimi because she doesn’t like to sound old, which is something we all understand. So from now on I will to refer to her as “Mimi.”

Not wanting to sound old by being called “grandma” or “granny” Christi wanted a different name but didn’t know which to be called by at first. So one day she came upon the name while at her daughter’s house. There she was talking to her first grandson, Bryan. He was just starting to talk at that time so she was pointing at a picture of herself saying “me,” and kept repeating it over and over again. But he wouldn’t say anything. The next time he saw her, though, he yelled to her “Me – Me.” This is why they ended up keeping the nickname of “Mimi.” My Mimi’s real name of Christi came from her mom’s sister’s name or her aunt, whom they nicknamed Tina. “Christ and I” is what Mimi always says to everyone when she first meets them. But no matter how many times she reminds people how to spell it they always get it wrong. She thinks either they weren’t listening or don’t know about Christ. My Mimi really appreciates her name because God plays a big role in her life. And she reminds everyone that He’s here while she prays for the best.

One of her son’s is Greg, my dad. My dad was always a dog lover so he would always take in strays. But the one that my Mimi remembered most was a rescue dog they named Poochie. Poochie’s mother was left in an abandoned car near the grain elevators. This long-haired dachshund had been left in there during the time the elevator, called Bunge blew up. My dad found him and brought him home. Everyone ended up falling in love with him, including my Mimi; he ended up being on of her favorite pets. Well, one night Poochie wouldn’t come inside for the night so they left him out. The next day was a Sunday morning, and everyone was getting ready to go to church. When they walked outside, Poochie was outside the door lying down with a broken leg. He had been hit by a car, but, fortunately, he was still living. They rushed him straight to the veterinarian. Soon after they got the news that the doctor wanted to put the dog down because it’s hard to keep up with a dog with only three legs. Everyone lamented the news and refused to let them euthanize him so they took him home. He ended up living a long while until one day he died from a burst aneurism. But one of the most memorable times she had to say about him was when he first came home from the vet, he went to pee, lifted the only leg he had, and fell. Eventually, he learned to use the part of leg he had left, and he still chased after cars with his three legs.

In my Mimi’s many years of living, her dog’s broken leg wasn’t the only accident that she experienced. She remembered two specific accidents that happened, car accidents to be specific. One day she went to work and told her son, Jamie, that he could use her car while she was gone. Jamie decides to let my dad drive with no license at the age of 12 down Apple Street. While driving, my dad sped up when going over the train tracks and ended up rear ending a TR47. She was lucky that her insurance paid for the damages because they would have cost a fortune. The other accident that she remembered clearly was one that she was in. In Texas, a couple of friends and she were driving from Huston to Galveston. Keith, a friend of hers, was driving, she was in the passenger’s seat, and another friend was in the back. While driving, they came across a van on side of the road with a group of girls standing outside of it having car trouble. They all got distracted by these girls to see what was going on. My Mimi remembered nothing else after that but waking up in the hospital with the nurses sticking needles into her. She had been knocked out. What she later found out was people had been picking pecans on the side of the road and as they were getting back onto the main highway, and, they ran straight into their driver’s door. Thankfully, no one got seriously injured, just sustained some bruising.

Being in this world of evolving technology learning about others is deteriorating. My Mimi has seen this all happen right before her eyes. It gives her this sense of loss of the family being as close like they used to be. Life used to be much simpler with many gatherings and everyone together during holidays with no distractions. She had dream that one day she could live on a ranch with a tennis court, pools, and horses, so that she could have everybody over like old times. And I hope one day that I can help her to fulfill her dreams even if its one that as simple as taking her to play tennis just to spend time while doing something loves.

I now see why she comes out and supports everyone in whatever they choose to do. She goes for memories, not to make mistakes as before, and to make the most of her time. The memories she carries are when she played basketball. It was something she loved to do and was the only reason why she wanted to go to school. I came to realize that time is precious because no matter how old/ young you are, you never know when you’re going to leave this earth. With only two grandparents left, only God knows how much time I have left with them. This experience got me a little bit closer to one of them. Now I need to get closer to my paw paw as well. I know they love me as I love them because I am a piece of them as they are each a piece of me. I see how I have to make the most of my time and learn from all mistakes. And see that I can’t change the past as I see that my Mimi wishes she could go back sometimes. But in my mind I see it as a way that shaped her into the wonderful and loving person that she is and giving her the strength not to succumb to being uninvolved in our lives. She is a person who loves company and being someone’s company, just loving people and the life God has given her, who only hopes, prays, and works for the best. And I see many of her good traits in my dad, which I hope will be developed by me. But I’m the decider of who I become so I’ll try my best to become just like them.





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