We dropped her off
in the ocean dusk.
All that remained
was sand and dust.
When did I become the moon? Engrossed in dark femininity, trying to maintain my light for myself and others. I shine most of the time but I still have times of darkness. When people think of me, they forget about the phase when I fade away. When my light goes out and I feel like I can’t move on. Luckily, everything happens in phases.
The Sun is shining
But in my head My darkness
Just swallows me whole
With each breath, crisp fall air fills her lungs with decay and sorrow. She is sick. The plants are dying and the birds are migrating. Her body is preparing for the dark season.
The coming months will be without sunlight. The air will grow cold, eventually, bone chilling. She will do fine the first few months but the bleak will get to her in due time. The depression will take over but she cannot forget it will be cured again with sunlight and a warm embrace.
under the waxing
gibbous moon we say goodbye
last evening of five
I’m standing on the stairway at the end of the beige corridor. The lights are low. The tone of the scene matches my insides. Dark and worried. Silent.
I glance down the hallway and she is in the doorway. He had knocked on her door looking for me. They both turn my direction, looking my way as if they were deer in the night.
She is peeking at me from the 5 inch crack in the door. He face is pale and worried. Her hair is up and frazzled. She stands there in her vintage pajamas, pastel and faded. She is giving off a low, frightened energy. It seems like he may have interrupted her while she was crying in there alone.
When we meet eyes, she frowns at me in the most loving way you could imagine. I don’t return the look. I stare; blank. Empty. Bleak and broken.
Our pain is so similar, yet nothing alike. When my pain freezes me in time, her pain shatters her entire world. When my pain rings loudly in everyone’s’ ears and runs red streaks throughout my sight, her pain doesn’t make a peep. Even though our pain speaks different truths, it is still pain.
I keep replaying this 10 second moment in my head. I have guilt for not returning the look. I was too strong in my emptiness. I regret not saying hello earlier in the evening. I regret not smiling in that moment.
I should have conveyed that we are wearing the same shields. I should’ve conveyed that we are on the same muddy battlefield, giving it our all, fighting the same war. I should’ve conveyed that we were allies, at risk for losing the same thing. We must gaurd our lives together as a team.
Show off his craft and woodworking, the pieces of his time.
Remember the things he enjoyed, his love of deep red wine.
Rest in the home together, the one that he built with you in mind.
Hold one another close, and finally say goodbye.
My dear friend pointed out to me today that it has been 10 years since my grandmother’s passing.
10 years, 3 months, 18 days.
A total of 3,762 days.
Over 5 million minutes.
And more than 325 million seconds.
Her porch was lined with spider plants, money plants, ferns and more. So much green, so much peace. Drinking lemonade on the lounge chairs, laughing or singing the afternoon away.
My grandmother, Helena, was very much in love with nature. She had an infatuation with birds. She loved her colorful sprawling gardens, laced with lilies, butterflies, and green. She had a glass garden orb, her “crystal ball”. I spent much time playing with her outside, listening to birds and going for walks.
We loved to go to the beach together. Sitting with our chairs in the water and sifting through the sand to find treasures. It could be hot, it could be cool; we were there any time we could be. Bringing as much food as possible to the beach because we wanted it to feel like home. Pans of brownies stolen by seagulls. Oh, the stories!
My grandmother spent a lot of time creating which she has passed on to me. Sewing, crocheting, painting, writing, photography, ceramics. Any way that she could express herself. I remember making chains of colored paper with her and stringing them up in her dining room as if we were hosting a gathering. We would drink our tea and eat our cookies under the rainbow links. I was so proud to sit there beneath my own creation, the decorations for our own private tea party.
Helena died of ovarian cancer in April of 2007. She had a fear of doctors and seldom went for check ups. I find that I am following in her footsteps. I haven’t been to my PCP in 1.5 years, haven’t seen an OB/GYN in over 3 years. This is not the greatest trait to inherit but nonetheless, it is true. Constant worriers can either over-react or under-react and I find that with my health, I don’t do much but tell myself all is well.
I never made the connection but I’m glad that my friend did. I am definitely connected to my grandmother and even 10 years later, she has had such a profound impact on me. I miss her every day.
My grandmother came to me for a split second today. I was walking to work and all of a sudden, it felt like I had walked into a wall. Overcome with emotions, sorrow, and loss; inexplicably so. Sadness but also memories of joy. Memories of calling her. Longings of sitting on her back porch or lay in bed with her as we would, asking for advice or daydreaming of what was to come in my life. A cup of tea, cream cheese toast, ice cream, the aroma of a home cooked meal.
When I got to work, I understood why she visited me. My colleague’s grandfather was dying. She explained to me how she left him in the hospital. All of the bad memories came back. Memories I had placed aside to focus on being a support for my mother in her loss. Memories I have ignored for years. All revisited this morning.
Although I was 12 years younger the last time I called her, I still remember her telephone number. I remember how she would sing my name as she was calling me from inside the house. I remember how she smelled. I remember how it felt to wake up in my room there; the antique bed, the sheer white curtains with sunlight shining through, the old linens. I remember everything. And I miss her.