Religion, My Grandmother, My Aunt

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I grew up believing in god, used to say this prayer before I went to sleep (though not every night):

[quote]Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.[/quote]

My grandmother, Ruby (rest in peace), was a firm believer in God, and I admired her, loved her more than the sky is high. That’s what she’d always say to me: “I love you more than the sky is high.” “You’re the apple of my eye,” she’d sometimes tell me. I remember having my big children’s bible when I was a kid and we’d lie in bed and talk for hours, and I asked her: “Mamaw, will you visit me when you pass away?” She told me that she would, and this unfortunately was the last time my grandmother would stay the night with me. She’d pray before breakfast, lunch and dinner. She was a great person, one of the best people in my life. When she died, so did my faith in God. I remember she came in a dream, held my hand: “Bradley, I’m all right.”

One night I was having a conversation with my aunt Deborah (rest in peace), and she’s a huge believer in God, angels, etc., and something about God came up, and that’s when I felt it was right to tell her I didn’t believe. After going around and around for a while: “I’m gonna take you to church so you can believe.” She said other things, but I can’t remember exactly, and at this point I was really pissed off, because she kept shoving her beliefs down my throat, trying to change me. I said no, but she kept pushing. It’s her way or the highway. That’s the type of person she was, but I loved her. I completely loathe when someone attempts to shove their beliefs down my throat and try to change me. Nobody enjoys it when people try to change them into something they’re not.

Deborah and Bradley Howington

Me and my aunt Deborah, cheesin’. Lol.

My aunt Deborah and I were very close, and even though we sometimes had our differences (who doesn‘t?), we connected because we’re alike. They say people who are alike will not get along, but me and my aunt did. We’d spend hours, sometimes all night on the phone laughing and having lovely, interesting conversations. I miss talking to her and hearing her laugh, but I will always remember the incredible memories we made together. Nobody knows her pain, because nobody has seen what her eyes have seen. Everyone thought she was crazy, that she lost her mind, but it’s the “crazy” people who are brilliant. My aunt Deborah had a brilliant mind, she was a very intelligent woman. Some ignored her “crazy” rants, but when she passed away we found out that she was right. She was not perfect, because nobody is perfect, but she was my aunt, and I love her.

Sometimes I felt she was my second mother, and that’s how she felt. You see, she could not have children because her husband was incapable of producing offspring. She loved children and wanted to have children of her own. She donated thousands and thousands of dollars to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Children and animals were her loves. She adored animals and donated thousands of dollars to shelters. Yes, my aunt was wealthy, but she busted her ass for her money. I can hear her right now: “I walked to work in a blizzard, with nothing but a thin jacket on my back. I was freezing, it was so cold, but I did it.” She loved my poetry and photography and would always encourage me to keep going when doubt was holding me back. I love you Aunt Debbie.

My grandmother only came in a dream, and that’s the last time we spoke, our last moment together. I haven’t seen her in any of my other dreams, but that doesn’t mean she’s not there. She was the best grandmother in the world.

They’re both with their god now. I hope they’re well.