Some of this is based off the books and thank you Scarlett Dahlin for your review!
Vivi, Necie, Teensy, and I are planning an upcoming event for our anniversary as the Ya-Ya's. Every year we would o something special, like have a party, barbecue, or something very big and tres bien.
At around noon today, Shep called me.
"Hi Caro," he said quietly. I found this odd because Shep never called me at home. In fact, he never really talked to me, even when Vivi had a nervous breakdown. I was the one who went over to the house and had Willetta take them to her house while I kept an eye on Vivi and dragged Shep's ass back into the house and had him help Necie and Teensy and I commit her to get better. We never talk about it.
"Shep, what's going on pal?" I asked.
"Caro, Vivi is dying," he said. "I don't know exactly what, but the doctor said that she ain't got long to live."
I just laughed my head off, not wanting to believe it. "Quit shitting with me pal and tell me what is going on?"
Then there was silence on the other end.
"I see," I muttered. "I'm sorry pal, I thought that you were pulling my leg."
"It's okay," he muttered. "Caro, I gotta go now. The doctor is in."
After he hung up, I fell apart. Aside from the bourbon, Bloody Mary's, smoking, and many other things, Viviane Abbott Walker was the healthiest Ya-Ya of us all. I placed my oxygen mask up to my mouth and started inhaling heavily, because to hear that one of us was dying was too much for me to bear. Then I pulled myself together called Teensy since she is the next strongest one next to me and Vivi.
"Teens," I said holding back the tears. "I got some news for you pal."
"I know," sobbed Teensy. "Queen Dancing Creek is going to die. Shep called me. I'll be over in a minute with Necie and the Saab."
We hung up and I placed my oxygen mask on my face again.
1975 was the year I left home. I remember my last night at Pecan Grove as a resident. Mama came into me and Lulu's old room and sat on my bed and told me how proud of me she was.
"No matter where you are mon cher," she said. "You will always be my little girl. You know what Siddo,"she smiled. "I think I am going to miss you. I will miss playing rummy with you and many other things. I will always miss your creativity."
My creativity was something that almost got me ex-communicated from mama and the family in the 1990's.
Later that night, mama, daddy, Little Shep, and Baylor went to the airport with me.
"First Lulu flies off to Europe and now you are going off to New York," mama said sadly. I thought that she was going to cry. I wanted to tell her that everything will be okay and that I would visit often and call home everyday, but why lie to her?
Mama was a drama queen all right. I probably should have cast her in my first play as the lead because she could pull off any character.
When we got to the airport daddy, Shep, and Bay got all my bags out of the jeep (mama finally got rid of her T-Bird in 1970!) and walked with me to the terminal. Mama kept her arm wrapped around mine, as if we were two old biddies in the 1880's and said that she and the other Ya-Ya's will miss me-over and over again! Daddy just turned around and laughed at my expense of having mama croon over my departure.
"It won't be the same without you!" she said.
"I know," I said.
"Sidda," said daddy. "Your flight is here."
I hugged daddy, Shep, and Baylor tightly. Then I hugged mama even tighter and I kissed her on the cheek and told her that everything will be fine, I promise. I got on the plane with my carry-on bag and looked at my family. Now mama was left with Baylor and Shep. Pretty soon, Shep left home and he married a wonderful woman named Kane and then Baylor married a great woman named Melissa.
The phone rang and I answered it. It was my sister Sidda, the honorary petite Ya-Ya.
"Shep," Sidda panted. "How's mama?"
"Mama is fine, sis," I said. "What's wrong?"
"I can't get out of New York because of a stupid storm. Thank God you have a cell phone," she said. Her voice was starting to break.
"Sidda, if you cannot make it, mama will understand," I sighed.
"No she won't!" she cried. "Mama has never gotten over a thing! She will haunt me after she, you know, goes.'
"Siddo, mama will forgive you," I said. "She knows that you live over a thousand miles away and she will understand."
"But I will never forgive myself if Becca, Conner, and I never get to say goodbye," she sobbed.
"Sidda, just get down here as you can. I'll see if I can get mom to hold out for a bit longer," I sighed.
"Okay, bye," said Sidda and then she hung up.
Deep down, I sort of felt that Sidda would not be able to make it down. I know that she lives a million miles away and she does not own a car because living in New York City, the fastest way to get around is by foot.
A few hours have passed and still the flight is not taking off. Conner could tell that I was starting to get irritated and so could Becca.
"Mom, can we get something to eat? My tummy is growling," she said.
"No!" I snapped. Then I realized my actions when I saw tears forming in my daughter's eyes. "I'm sorry baby," I said as I held her. Then Conner looked at me.
"Sid, maybe we could rent a car," he suggested. "By the time the plane gets here, we could be in Georgia."
"Okay," I said.
Becca, Conner, and I got a refund on our tickets and then we rented a car at the airport and headed for Thorton.
Teensy and I picked up Caro at her house. We all drove to the hospital to see Vivi. Caro and Teensy were falling apart and then I was falling apart because our rock was almost gone.
"Teens, what are we going to do without Vivi?" asked Caro.
"I don't know, cher," said Teensy. You have got to admire Teensy. First, she lost a brother in the war and then a few years later, she lost her mother whom we all adored.
Genevieve was the adult we all loved the best while growing up in Thorton. She would teach us how to wear make-up and how to cook gumbo. She even taught us how to frighten off alligators.
Gumbo ya-ya! Gumbo ya-ya!
We called ourselves Ya-Ya so nobody could break us, with the exception of Him-you know what I mean!
Teensy drove us in her Saab to the drug store, via the way to the hospital. We got some vodka and Tabasco sauce for the tomato juice that Shep already had with him at the hospital. I told him to go to the market and get some VH Tomato Juice for us to make Bloody Mary's. He asked me how the H-E-double-hockey sticks were we going to make them in the hospital with all those nurses and security guards around? I told him that that was going to be our problem and not to worry.
We got into Vivi's room, where she seemed to be in high spirits. She smiled at us.
"Ah my friends!" she smiled. "Princess Naked-As-A-Jaybird, Countess Singing Cloud, and Duchess Soaring Hawk."
We all gave her a hug and a peck on the cheek. Then we got the tomato juice and vodka and Tabasco sauce and celery sticks out and Vivi's face light up.
"Oh Dahlin's you shouldn't have!" Vivi smiled and then Teensy and I started mixing the drinks for her.
"Pal, we're here for you," said Caro as she climbed into the bed and lied next her. Then Teensy and I sat at the foot of her bed and gave her and Caro their drinks. It was like when we were in high school and even after that. We would share a single twin bed together and sit up and talk all night.
"When I go, I want ya'll to do me a huge favor," she said as a tear dropped from her face. "Take care of the petite Ya-Ya's and the Tres-Petite Ya-Ya's," she said as she looked down. "And if Sidda and Lulu and their families do not get here in time, tell them that I love them."
Jeff, Lee, and I came home from school today and we found the house completely empty.
said. "Mama! We're home!"
Lee-Lee, Jeff, and I ran around the house and looked everywhere, even in dad's study.
"Dad?" I said. Then the phone rang and Jeff answered it.
"Walker residence," I said.
"Cat, it's mama," said mama. It sounded like she was almost crying.
"What is it mama?" I asked.
"Grandma Vivi is in the hospital because she is very sick right now. The doctors told Paw Paw and everybody that she is going to die," said mama.
"I want to be there," I said.
"Honey, I don't want Lee to be there. She's too young," said mama.
"Why can't she be there?" I asked.
"I told you honey that she is too young and don't ask me again!" she stated.
"Can't we call Joanie or somebody to baby-sit?" I asked. Stupid! Joanie was probably already there with mama and everyone.
"No and that is my final answer!" she said.
"I HATE YOU!" I slammed the phone down and ran to my room.