Grandmother.

Wednesday, September 23rd 09 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment

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This is my grandmother. And this is how I remember her. Laughing. She was always laughing. She died n 2004, almost five years ago to the day. And I miss her.

Most times when I write about her, I write about the last few months of her life. I recount the last two weeks we spent in the hospital while she was in an induced coma. Her chest was still open because they couldn’t close because of how swollen she was and she was hooked up to every machine you can imagine. I write about how they had to amputate her leg and I write about the last morning of her life. But sometimes, I think that I think too much about those October days that I forget to remember the twenty years I had with her alive. Now that October 16th is a mere few weeks away, it’s probably the best time to remember how she was.

I either read or heard it somewhere recently that time does not heal the wounds of losing someone. It’s something that never heals, time simply helps you to move forward and live. Because that’s what we all have to do, no matter what happens, we have to move forward and continue living. Yet, the process time takes to dull the pain and make it possible to wake in the morning often has a way of dulling the memories of the little things. When you go so long without hearing it, it’s difficult to pull to mind the sound of a laugh or a voice. Recalling a smell, the colour of eyes or the way a step is taken only gets harder and harder every time you try to remember.

If I try really hard, I can remember a lot of little moments that we had together, little things that she used to do. But sometimes I feel like I was so young when most of these things happened, that I don’t remember them fully or properly. I guess the remembering at all is what matters most, though.

I remember that when we’d go to the mountains to the trailer they had parked at a camp, she would make breakfast on Saturday mornings and would make lots of extra pancakes that she would freeze. On those mornings, after Poppa left to go fishing, she would come to me asleep on the couch and tell me to go get in their bed underneath the electric blanket. We once spent the week alone before Poppa came up Friday after work, and while nothing else stands out, I remember watching Beaches together for the first time. I resisted and she insisted and we sat together in the little living room of the little trailer. In the end it turned out that I loved the movie, and afterward we walked throughout the park talking about it.

Before I moved to California, I wrote her a card that said how very much I loved her and how much  I was going to miss her when I was gone. Once I was here, we talked on the phone often and she sent me care packages and cards all the time. After she died, I often wished that I’d never left Arizona because that was eight months that I could have spent with her, that I didn’t even see her more than one time. Throughout those eight months, she never mentioned the card that I’d sent. But that Christmas, my mom gave me a box of socks and things that had belonged to her. I went through it when I got home, and settled at the very bottom of it, was the card. The fact that she saved it, the fact that it was there, let me know with a complete certainty that she knew what she meant to me.

On the drives up north, we used to listen to her cd’s, most of which consisted of oldies, Garth Brooks and George Strait. My favourites were the Elvis ones, but she always liked to listen to Patsy Cline. I’d never heard that beautiful voice until I’d heard it in the cab of the truck with my Gramma. And still to this day, if I’m feeling a little sad, or needing to feel a little safe – all it takes is a Patsy Cline song.

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