Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Riding the Waves

I actually wrote this post before I visited my aunt yesterday. I'm rather glad I wrote *something* in advance as right now I am downright too depressed to say much of anything. But here is what I wrote two days ago:

So... I was feeling like I was coping remarkably well. Then out of habit, I went to pick up my mail. As I turn the key in my mailbox, it hit me fresh again.

My grandmother is dead.

She remembered every single holiday. I got a package from her for Valentine's Day, a package for every anniversary, a package for my birthday, a package for Christmas. She didn't miss a beat. She was incredibly thoughtful. And now, my mail box is grieving, too. Grieving with the weight of bills and advertisements. Empty of love. Instead it's full of hollow want - people wanting money, people wanting me to buy things. [I actually received a few condolance cards since I wrote this - thank you to the friends with my snail mail address who sent such lovely notes!!! You cheered up my mailbox - and me!]

I let myself cry as I opened my apartment door, thankful that the timing of the tears was more appropriate than during my meeting with my academic advisor and her fellow advisees.

After brushing Bobby's cat and getting her to play a bit (yes, that 21 year-old cat of hers is as full of spunk as my grandmother was), I decided to start going through some of the photos I'd brought back copies of. I'm planning on posting a few on here eventually. As I sorted through them, I paused to really look at one of the beautiful images of her face. Suddenly, in my heart, I felt a different sadness. I felt my grandmother apologize for leaving without letting me say goodbye first. I know on a rational level that if she knew how sad I'd feel about not seeing her one last time, she would be sorry. But the feeling was something more than that. I know she is out there, or here, or both. I wish I could hug her.

The last time I saw her, we had a very meaningful goodbye. I didn't expect that it would be the last time I'd see her. She made me wait out by the car while she ran inside her apartment. She wanted to give me something.

She'd recently sent me this adorable box with a pixie-like fairy figurine on top. I'd told her how much I'd enjoyed it (and still do - it is sitting out in my living room right now). And as we said goodbye, she handed me a gift bag. I opened it and inside was a beautiful angel. Generally, I'm not very interested in angel figurines or imagery. But this angel was different. Faceless, she has golden wire wings and holds a tasteful golden heart. Her plaster dress and plaster hair billow lightly in frozen wind. Tears came to my eyes as I gazed at the touching gift and as we said our goodbyes. "Thank you," I said as I looked sincerely appreciative into my grandmother's beautiful, loving face.

Thank you, Bobby. For everything.

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