It's late and I should be packing for a funeral. But instead, I want to try to return to the time, back 400 posts ago, when no one read this blog. When I could write whatever I wanted without the knowledge that I would have to be comfortable talking about it in the future, back when it was like a tree falling in the forest when no one was around...
... I'm gonna keep writing, but I don't want to talk about it.
First, I hate the feeling that I have to go to work tomorrow. That because the woman that passed was old, that I should be able to keep my shit together. Well, I just don't know if that's true. And I'm not sure I want it to be.
I've been feeling - since my last visit with her - that she was profoundly underestimated her whole life. That she was dismissed too often by all of us. That we did not value her to the extent we should have. I want to delete that sentence to protect myself from it, but I'm not going to.
I didn't learn to make her pie crust. I don't remember which flowers you snap the heads off of and which you let dry out. If I write her maiden name right now, will I mispell it? How many sisters did she have, 5?
She worked so hard to love us all. She worked so hard all the time to make a house a home. To make the simple delicious. To make us happy.
And she was there. She saw me. She noticed me. She wouldn't let me fade into the woodwork, instead she kept me close and had me help. And in helping her, I learned something different.
Some people you miss because they told good jokes or because they had wise words or because they were important with a capital "I". I will miss watching her hands peel apples at the speed of light. I will miss long walks, swimming classes, and puzzles. I will miss her teaching me to enjoy the subtle parts of life.
Why do I know that her Buick salesman was named Al Hugly, but I don't know her mother's first name? Why do I know how much she loved her neighbor Kermit, but I don't know how she felt about her sister Jane? I can tell you the exact layout of her garden: first tulip and daffodil bulbs along the deck, then petunias when they fade, Tiger lilies in a bunch around the birdfeeder, honeysuckle around the back of the house. Divide the bulbs when they get too close together, pinch the petunias but not the tigerlilies, scare the squirrels away, but not the finches and the humming birds.
Pick strawberries in June. Pick blueberries in July. Pick cherries in august. Pick apples in september. Dust the tables before you vacuum. Fold the clothes before they wrinkle. Keep everything and discover the use for it later. Love your husband.
This must sound like nonsense, but this is the limit of language. These are the only words that convey what I want to remember.
I want to delete this post. I want to keep this personal. I don't want to talk about it. I should not be writing right now.
"My grandmother died" sounds so lame. Like an excuse to sleep in. Where is the weight? Where is the pain? What sentence does that live in? Where is my protective cloak to get me through the day tomorrow? My bubble? My shield?
You probably won't get to read this. It will probably just sit in my drafts folder until I delete it. Until the pain fades. Too bad. You may never know how to wind a cuckoo clock. You may forget the comfort of too many figurines in a display case. You might not get to drink your coffee out of a happy-face mug, or steal some cookies from the industrial-sized margarine tub. You might forget to add the boric acid when you are pickling. You might not figure out the perfect placement of a family photo. You might not get a check on your birthday.
Next on news at 11... a local woman falls into hysterics as she realizes that she will no longer receive a check on her birthday. Paramedics responded to the scene, but the woman could not be consoled, until she caught sight of an elderly woman powerwalking in beige pants and walked away mumbling what sounded like a shopping list for the produce section. She is not considered dangerous, and it is reported that she can be lulled into a submissive state by the ticking of a large clock, but only if she is also wrapped in a large, hand-knitted afghan and a given a homemade peanut butter cookie.