Saturday, April 24, 2010

Catching Up (till next we meet)

Saw an old woman today (no, not my own reflection) who reminded me of my Grandma. It made me want to pick up the phone, dial her number, hear her voice. But there's no cell phone service in heaven (no land lines either, I suppose.) So I jotted a note.
Dear Gram,
If there’s any truth to the notion that those who leave us are never too far away, then I suppose there’s no need for catching up. But since one can never be sure what transpires beyond our earthy plane, I’ll err on the side of caution.

Since last we met, over ten years ago, my babies have all but grown. You said they would do so quickly. In fact, you were the first to say, “Don’t blink.” Someone wrote a song about that recently. It’s a big hit. You probably know that the marriage thing didn't pan out. Maybe you suspected the outcome right from the start. It would have done no good to warn me, though. I wouldn’t have listened. In your silent wisdom you recognized this was a lesson I had to live and own myself. I did.

I play with words now. Do you remember when that was our game? We’d choose our favorites, most and least. I always picked the obvious – love, puppy, angels/ murder, rape, pain. You chose the ones I had to think about; tranquility, freedom and light, anxiety, violence and bigotry. It was an ember that became a white hot flame, my love of language now an inferno. I take these words and twist them, bend them, string them together pages long. The game has evolved.

Since last we met, I’ve come to terms with regret. Missed opportunities, fumbled chances, I never did get to say goodbye. I wonder if it would have mattered. Your mind left you to fend for yourself, a stranger to your family and to the reflection in the mirror. But the illness could not rob who you were deep inside; the woman named after the most glorious month, the one where April showers leave their flowers and where the days grow warmer and kinder. It suited you well.

If wishing made all things possible, this would not be a one-sided conversation and my questions no longer go unanswered. It is said you’ve moved on to a better place. Have you? Is there no suffering in your world, nothing to fix, no reason to cry? Was Papa there to meet you? Have you made a home with him once again? You are now the keeper of secrets, the holder of all information, the stuff of mere mortal speculation. I always knew that you really did know everything.

I’m certain there’s more that I could say. Perhaps one day we’ll finish this talk. Until then, until next we meet, you are never too far from me, my grandmother, my friend.

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