Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Package from Florida

Another box arrived today from my grandmother's old residence in Florida. Although the box containing her ashes remains unopened on a shelf in my living room, I tore open this box. I was desperate to gather into my arms the memories. Anxious to take these pieces of her life that I'd mailed to myself and integrate them into my life. Make her belongings a part of my life as much as her memories are a part of me. There was a little bit of everything. A sweater (that I'll wear to school tomorrow), an ornamental plant hanger that I'll put up in our bedroom, a bar of soap that she hadn't used yet that is now in our bathroom. I held the blanket she'd knitted up to her cat to let the cat smell it.

Mia (talking to cat): You remember that scent? That is the smell of your mother, my grandmother.

I paused, then continued (smiling at the cat): I guess that makes you my aunt, huh?

Right now, I've got five passports that belonged to my grandmother, sitting in my lap. The littlest things may seem so insignificant, but they're like pieces of who she was. Puzzle pieces unraveling the mysteries of her life.

If you've been reading my blog for some time, you'll know that I wrote my grandmother's biography with her while she was still living. I'm excited about taking her diaries and her passports and integrating all this new data into her life story.

Having that to look forward to keeps me from wallowing in my grief. I feel like I know her even better in some ways since she died than I did before. There are stories in these diaries that she never shared with me. I wonder if she forgot them or if she held them back for a reason. The journals are brief and cryptic and of course, I wish I could ask her what she meant.

I haven't finished unpacking the box. I'm almost afraid to. This is all that's left. This box containing a few of her possessions. Once they're all out, there is just the box of ashes. Well, the box of ashes and my empty grief.

No comments: