When I lived in West Virginia, Maydell would pick me up every Sunday morning for church. My parents didn’t go to church. But for some reason, they thought I should.
So Maydell would pick me up, take me to Sunday School (where I would dip my Cheetos into my ice tea), then drive me home. I’d hop out of her car and run up to mom, who, in the summer, would be laying out on her folding lawn chair, listening to the radio. My pool would be up and filled and I’d immediately change in my swimsuit (or not, it was the country) and jump in.
That’s one of my favorite memories from West Virginia. I think of that scene whenever I hear the Bellamy Brothers or Don Williams.
I also remember playing in Maydell’s attic (I think it was the attic) with Cindy, Maydell’s granddaughter. Cindy and I were the best of buds. The attic had a couple of little, hidden rooms and it was hot as hell but Cindy and I spent hours up there. When I was small enough to fit up there.
I’d always stop in and see Maydell whenever I was in Nestorville. She still lived in the same house, at the end of my uncles’ road. We still sent each other Christmas cards and I had just gotten a letter from her before we left for West Virginia a few weeks ago. She sent me a picture she found of me, Cindy and some little boy, Andrew. I don’t remember him. I was about four in the picture. We were in Maydell’s living room.
I tried to see Maydell when we were in West Virginia. I had sent her a wedding photo of me and Todd, and I wanted her to meet him, and Kayleigh. We stopped by, but her car wasn’t in the garage, and I tried to call her the next day, but there was no answer. That’s Maydell – very social, always out and about, still driving at 88 years old and shuttling people to church.
So it was when she failed to show up at church on Sunday, that people grew concerned and a neighbor walked over to check on her.
And he found that Maydell had passed way.
But what is so troublesome, is that it appears that Maydell’s passing was not at all natural. There were signs that someone may have hurt her.
Nestorville is an unincorporated town of maybe 300 people. For the most part, everyone knows everyone, and everyone knew Maydell. There are some strangers who have moved in, and unfortunately, your mind tends to wander to those people as suspects. There was evidence left behind, and the state police spent all of Sunday at her house, so hopefully we will have answers soon.
In the meantime, my energy is sapped and all I want to do is sleep and/or cry. Maydell was like a grandmother to me, and it physically hurts to think that someone could do such a thing to her. I can still hear her voice as it shook and I still see her out tending to her garden. She was a gentle, quiet, loving woman who still had many vibrant years left in her.
So, when I get back to a better place and can be entertaining and funny, I’ll post more. Until then, I’m just going to curl up and remember the good ol’ days.