Ever since I can remember I have associated my grandparents with church. Anytime we went to visit them, we knew we would be going to church. If I think hard enough, I can probably count easily the number of times I've been to church without my grandparents. The most vivid memory of going to church with my grandparents is my grandmother's singing. Every time a hymn was sang, she sang along. My cousins and I would often talk about Grandma's singing. See the thing is, it wasn't pretty. It was loud and very high pitched, almost shrill. My cousin Alicia did a pretty spot on impression of Grandma.
At the funeral on Thursday morning in a tiny little funeral home in Valdosta, Georgia, the choral group from Grandma's church was there singing. They began by singing some pretty song about memories and stuff. My 8 month old second cousin was happily bouncing along and giggling. Then as they reached the 3rd chorus, I closed my eyes and thought about Grandma's singing. I suppose it could have been the power of suggestion, but as I sat there listening, I could have sworn I heard her, over all the rest, singing loudly, and very high pitched. I laughed in spite of myself and, as I turned my tear-streaked face to my cousin, she said very softly "I can hear Grandma singing."
We smiled at each other and I glanced at my Dad who was sitting on the row in front of me with his three sisters. I distinctly heard him whisper something to my Aunt Darinda about "Momma's singing". Apparently we all heard it, because later on in the day, my brother Alan, who was sitting in the back with his daughter Elora, told me he could have sworn he heard Grandma singing at the funeral.
If any person on this Earth was destined for Heaven, it is my Grandma, Earline Suggs
From 1948, the year she married Grandpa: