But standing in the church on Sunday morning, singing the hymns side by side, I see a flicker of belief in his eyes. Hope for better times. Maybe he’s thinking of Nana, who always told us we were all God’s children, loved and precious. She believed enough for the both of us. And every Sunday, standing by her side, singing His praise, I felt the light and hope fill me up and I held onto it for as long as I could.
After church we stand outside and catch up with Nana’s friends–there are so many. Everyone in the congregation, it seems, was touched by her. Several ladies invite us out to lunch, but Bo declines for the both of us. We have plans to pay someone important a visit. Afterward we drive to _________, where Nana was laid to rest in the Sorrell family plot, next to her husband, Buford I, who according to Nana, was an alcoholic and when Nana’s three living sons were old enough, they scattered like buckshots across the south. Nana said they all had a touch of their father’s darkness, which is what she called depression. “He’s got the darkness just like his father,” Nana once said about Bo. “But we’ll show him the light of Jesus, won’t we, honey?”
On Nana’s other side is the baby girl, her only daughter, who was stillborn. Helen was her name. Nana always told me I was sent to her to heal the hole in her heart that her daughter’s passing left behind.
Bo runs one hand over the arch of granite that is Nana’s headstone, larger than the rest. Bo got the most expensive rock Chandler Funeral Home had to offer, because he said when we went to visit her grave, he didn’t want it to look cheap.
“We aren’t so close in life as we are in death,” he says. “The Sorrells, cozied up like bedbugs, for all of eternity.”