Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Milepost For the Season

Today is the 7th anniversary of my grandmother's death. I was working on very few comfortable hours of sleep (petsitting, car, grandparental couch), many hours of driving in the snow and one delicious lobster roll. It was also just a month since my grandfather had died. You seriously could have served my brain for breakfast it was so scrambled, in that month I'd gone home, made funeral arrangements, gone back to NYC, gone back for the memorial and interment before the ground froze, gone back to NYC, celebrated Thanksgiving, and was pet sitting for friends when I got the call about my grandmother.

Grammy Fern had promised her sister that she would stay alive until Christmas. Whoops. She'd even bought a sweater to wear for the holiday. Guess who ended up wearing that self same sweater to the funeral? I also carried her a purse of hers. When I opened it to put in the car keys I found a handkerchief and a dollar for the offering plate.

Grammy Fern is the origin of the argument-blocking phrase, "You may be right but I don't think so." I think it's that mindset that made her promise Rena she'd stay when she had no business making any sort of guarantee. They were born 11 months apart. I can't even imagine what those first few days must have been like for Rena to adjust to a world in which her sister didn't exist anymore. She's still not over it and, given that she's almost 93, she probably won't ever be. It's a heck of a way to live.

I know, most people tour decorated houses or picture windows this time of year and here I am taking you on the death and destruction tour. It is, as the kids say, just how I roll.


  1. Anonymous10:06 PM

    It is sad that they died at this time of year, but it is sweet that you will always love them so. Maybe it's more of a memory tour of the people you have loved..and still do.

    It is a sad and wonderful time of year.
    Hang in there and just roll with it.

  2. I understand, completely. They were a part of you then, and a part of you today. My dad died the same night my son was born, so his birthday in November always fills me with melancholy memories.

  3. Actually, I think that is why Christmas is so special. It is as much for memory as it is for present..presents....didn't mean to make that pun, but it's there.

    My Grandma did stick around for Christmas last year. We took her presents to the hospital...she'd had hip surgery and we expected a recovery. She died a couple of days into January. So, this is the first Christmas without Grandma. This is the first Christmas without a grandparent at all for me. They've all gone.

    This time of year is oddly distinctive and beautiful for the sorrow it carries with the joy. Yes, we were happier when Grandma or Grandmother or Daddy Lou were all with us, but weren't they missing someone then? And so it goes on. And it is my turn.

  4. Oh seester I can't imagine how hard that must be.

    Chrome, the first one's the hardest. I was lucky enough to have a couple of great grandparents too so this cycle has been playing out in front of me for a really long time. I hope you all have a good time this year remembering.