It’s amazing how one moment everything is as it should be and the next the sky is gold and the rain falls from the ground up. I would have thought that after living through everything I have and losing so much so quickly would make me prepared for something as tramatic as a death. At this point it should be a tune I’m very used to dancing to. Except that no matter who you are, and no matter how familiar you are with loss, some things you never expect to lose.
The pillars in our lives sometimes seem to have an immortal cast to them. Even when you can see the cracks and fractures, you believe they will never crumble and they will always be there to support you. You find comfort in their worn contours and their familiarity will always be there.
My grandmother died friday morning.
This is the woman who used to protect me from my older sister when I was little. She used to let me help her put together jig saw puzzles. Well, I just put the sides in one pile and then similar colors in others.. but still. She let me. She would share her squirt with me and listen to me when I made wild guesses to questions I didn’t know on Wheel of Fortune. I’m pretty good at that game now. She’s the one who introduced me to liver and onions and in that moment I realized that I would never know if I liked something until I tried it.
She’s the one who I lived with when I was in elementary school. Eighth grade. Highschool. She’s the one who forced me to eat vitamins and got me sunny d in a can to take with me to school. She’s the first person I rode in a taxi with. She loved the biscuits from KFC as long as they were the hawaiian kind. I didn’t like them, but I ate them, because she liked them. She’s the one who bleached my hair for the first time when I was 13.
When my sister went to Oregon for my cousin Jennifers wedding, but I couldn’t (because I was too little) she agreed that I could go everywhere with her while my sister was gone. I thought I had gotten the lions share of that deal. I remember her never wearing her seat belt in the old beater black truck she had, but putting it over the shoulder of one of her arms. I remember the twinkle in her eye and her dirty jokes. The stories that if anyone else had told you, you wouldn’t believe, but you knew she wasn’t lying.
I remember going to her crying and her always making me feel better. She always shared her cinnamon candy with me and it is still one of my favorite things in the world. I remember her telling me and my sister we could pick one thing out of her Avon horde in the garage when we were little and I picked some weird ugly neon green hooty hoo owl. I lost it two days later at school.
She will always be in my heart but I fear my mind will be my worse enemy because everyone knows that memory fades. Will I remember the sound of her laugh in a year from now? Ten years from now?
She was one of the most amazing, intelligent, spiritual, and strong women I have ever known. I know that I will never meet her match. She helped shape me into the person I am today and for that I have to be grateful to whatever god or ghosts there are. I was one of the lucky ones who got to know her. My children wont be.