Saturday, May 17, 2014

Because she was, I am.

I could always see this barn from the window of the bedroom

Our deal since childhood was that she and I would dance at my wedding. Even after time and bad health put her in a wheelchair we still talked about it.

But I never found anyone worthy of presenting, and when I did I let her slip away.

She once told me that she hadn't been worried about death until she was eighty two. She said she'd spoken to a gypsy woman in her youth who assured her that she would make it at least that far.

But eighty two was a long time ago. A long time.

He favorite story about me, was how a small child, after she told me not get my clothes dirty that I went and did it anyway. Then realizing what I had done, I went and picked the switch for her "give me my beating" without asking, because I knew I had done wrong. I got a hug instead.

For last few years she told me that story every time I saw her. It made me smile.

She falls into that special category of people that I have actually known for my whole life. The very idea of her kept me straight at times, in that there are things I could have done that I knew I would not want to explain, or have anyone explain to her about me. She was for me a fixed point in the universe.

For the last fifteen years, every time the phone rang after ten at night, and I saw it was my parents calling, my stomach did little flip flops in dread. She's been doing poorly for a while so you tried to mentally prepare yourself. And still it wasn't enough.

The biscuits I bake are her recipe. One day I'll get the crust on her sweet potato pie right. Those remind me of a little white house with green trim, a pecan tree with thick climbing branches, the big bed with the metal frame and the bunk beds, a big pitcher of sweet tea, barns to search through, the shotguns behind the bedroom door, and night sky that looks like God picked out every star just to be seen from there. The whole place had a sense of peace, it seemed to calm the soul.

Last time I saw her, she looked so small, lying there asleep. My brother and I stood there, watching her for many minutes. Before I left, I kissed her on the forehead and whispered to her that I loved her. I hope she heard me.

My Grandmother has moved on to a better place.

1 comment:

umashankar said...

Like the night sky that looks like God picked out every star just to be seen from there, you have picked beautiful memories that span out to a lifetime. What a sweet and heart-wrenching tribute!