Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a fudge brownie for neelie

There are days when I miss my grandmother so much I can’t breathe.

Three years ago last month, my mother’s mother passed away. She was 90. She’s buried in my grandfather’s hometown in North Carolina, and on the drive down there, my mom and I realized that there was one last thing we could do for Grandma: we could buy her a fudge brownie.

If ever there was someone who loved chocolate, it was Neelie Grier. I come by it honestly, you see. And whenever we went on a car trip, she would buy at least one Little Debbie fudge brownie. So on that last trip to Statesville, my mother and I were women on missions. We had to find fudge brownies to eat, in Grandma’s memory. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Everyplace we stopped had everything but fudge brownies, and I, at least, arrived in Statesville feeling like I’d somehow failed my grandmother.

Ever since then, if I’m on a car trip and I spot a fudge brownie, I buy it. Like Mel Gibson’s character in "Conspiracy Theory" who is compelled to buy copies of Catcher in the Rye wherever he goes, one could easily track my movements through fudge brownies sold in gas stations.

I came across a CD labeled “Neelie’s 85th Birthday” today and discovered that it contained a slideshow someone, probably my cousin Jane, had made for the occasion. Some of the photos I’d seen, but some, like the one above, were new to me. It’s not much, but it eases the missing a little bit.

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