Friday, August 26, 2011
Since you've been gone...
I won't be going to your grave tomorrow. I'm sorry, but I know you aren't surprised. I never go there. I'm not sentimental like you, and I know you don't hold that against me. (And please don't say I'm just like my daddy. The truth hurts.) I never understood the point of standing in an open field of buried strangers and talking to the dirt and sky. It doesn't comfort me in any way to see your named etched in stone with those two finite dates below it. Instead of bringing me any kind of peace, it always smacks me in a "holy-crap-she's-really-gone" kind of way. (Sorry, I know you hate for me to say "holy crap".) So, instead of driving to the place where your spirit never lived and commemorating that forgettable day, I decided to write you this letter to let you know what you've missed since you've been gone.
First of all, you would be so proud that I finally let my hair grow out. Seriously! I did! You always told me how you liked it better long, but I was too damn lazy and impulsive on bad hair days to stick to it. How many times did I chop it off? How many times did you beg me not to chop it off? Well, I sucked it up, hid the scissors, and I think you would approve. Jacob even told me he hated it because it makes me look like a teenager. HELLO! I guess that means I'll never cut it again.
And speaking of Jacob...I wish you could see him now. He has grown into such a handsome young man. He's in middle school now. Can you believe so much time has passed? When you last saw him, he was a little kid who couldn't stand for me to touch his hair or dress him in clothes that matched. Now, he's up before the birds, making sure every hair is in place and that his clothes look just right. And...he has contacts. I know!! It makes my skin crawl, too, but he has been so mature in taking care of them because he knows that I don't do eyeballs. The only thing about your "sweet baby" that hasn't changed is the relentless teasing he gives to Hannah. You and I both know that deep down...he thinks she's really kind of cool.
And, Hannah...she talks about you all the time, you know. She tells me that she misses you, and I want her to miss you. I want her to remember that you shared a deep love of all things sugary and sweet. I want her to remember sneaking into your bedroom at night and eating jelly beans with you. I want her always know that you played Tickle Monster with her from the chair because you weren't able to get on the floor with her or chase her around like other grandmothers, and she was just fine with that. I want her to remember rocking with you and singing songs. (She has your beautiful singing voice, too.) You left us when she was only three years old, and I'm scared as hell that the dim light shining on those memories of you is becoming weaker, soon to fade out altogether. I'm doing what I can to keep you here, to keep a little girl's image of her beloved Granny in tact. It's so hard because time marches on.
I guess I should bring up the fact that our crazy, psycho dog, Pippy, passed away. I have been secretly praying that all dogs do NOT go to heaven, because I know how much you couldn't stand that mangy mutt here on Earth. I would hate for her to be barking at the wind, growling at the swaying trees and trying to sit on your lap for eternity.
I don't know why I bother to put my thoughts into words. I know you're here, and you probably love that I have the television on The Weather Channel most of the time. Were you shocked that I actually made Thanksgiving dinner...from scratch? I have a new respect for your mad cooking skills, however I'm not impressed with how you recorded your recipes for posterity. Did you notice that I found your instructions for Seven Layer Cookies scribbled on the back of a bank deposit slip from 1975? I was just surprised that you kept it...and that I found it. (They were delicious, of course.)
I miss you every day, so please forgive me for not visiting tomorrow. I'm taking a lesson from you and having a Girl's Day Out. I think you would approve of some pampering and lunch instead of having a pity party. You always did love the girly stuff, didn't you? Oh, and by the way...all those times you told me that you hoped I would have a kid of my own just like me that drove me crazy just like I did you? Well...thanks for the heads up, Mama. She's here.
I love you,