I miss Gram.  Lately, every little thing makes me think of her.  I was watching "Guarding Tess" a few nights ago, and I had to get up and turn it off.  Shirley MacLaine just looked far too much like Gram, even though Gram was never what you might consider a crotchety old lady.  Her hair style, her clothes and make-up just made it all too much, and I turned it off.

        Every song I hear makes me think of her…  Standing at the kitchen sink, singing softly with the radio… Songs like what currently plays first (If You Don't Know Me By Now by Simply Re), or Lionel Richie, or some other "soft rock" type stuff…  It makes me think of riding in the car…  I think it was a champage colored Corolla or something very similar…  The fruit and veggie-adorned wall paper in the kitchen… or that was in the kitchen.  The same smell in the house, except for maybe when something extra special was cooking…  Standing on a chair, "helping" make pudding from scratch…  Sitting at the table, helping roll the pasta out of the pasta press (and people wonder why I like to make every thing from scratch!)…  Playing in the basement and never actually being afraid of basements because hers was full of so much cool stuff… 

           I miss her grace.  She was a klutz, but in the kitchen, or playing with me and the other grandkids, it was like she just…  floated. 

          I'm probably one of the rarities of my generation.  I came in when the streetlights came out, and I'd ride my Big Wheel up and down the street about a billion times with my neighbor and her brother.  I even remember stubbing my toe pretty bad one time, and feeling the peroxide on it…  I went back outside, barefoot again, too.  *chuckle*  And I remember seeing Gram standing in the doorway…  "[First and middle name], it's gonna happen again if you don't put some shoes on!"  But I think she was smiling, too…  She used to scold me when I picked the milk pods off the back gate, but I think she was smiling inside then, too.

         I miss her scotcheroos.  And real pudding.  And baked chicken.  Even her salads were good.  I'm not a "load it up" type of salad-person; it's too many foods touching and I hate that.  But somehow, she'd load it with lettuce, green peppers, carrots, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, bacon bits, and sometimes celery, red pepper, diced egg, and whatever else, and I always liked it. 

         I miss her brushing my hair.  And then curling it.  I miss her sticks of gum in church.  I miss the way she always smelled…  Oil of Olay and something else I have never been able to nail down.  She always smelled the way I would imagine Heaven smells – sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, clean, crisp, and clear. 

          I miss her hands.  I really loved her hands.  Even when I was little, I knew there was something special about them.  I used to sit on her lap, or very close to her, and hold them, tracing the veins in the backs of her hands…  I even remember the way her skin always felt the same…  I loved the way it felt…

          And then all of those lovely, soft, warm, comforting things are overshadowed by the images I have of her the last time I saw her…  So small, and frail.  Her skin lost its luster and her hair was limp and white…  And there was no warmth, and no color.  Every thing frought with effort and pain…  I wanted to just scoop her up and run away, but I thought if I even dared pick her up, she'd shatter into a million pieces and turn to dust…  Where there was once softness and warmth, there were points, angles, and ice.  It's like there are two of her, and the one that hurts the most is the only one I can ever seem to remember for more than a few minutes.  I get lost with the Gram I remember when I was little, and then before I know it, the other one comes in and plucks me away, and chains me down in sadness.  I can't look back and smile or laugh because the other one always comes…  I swore I'd make her known to the boys, but I lied.  I can't tell them of her when all I can think and feel and hear is the other one…  I can't tell them of her when I can't remember her healthy, and whole.  I just can't.  In fact, this is probably as far as I've ever come…  Still no grief, no tears, no…  no, nothing. 

I miss her so much.  I hope the religious majority is right, and that's she's at peace…  Or that I'm right and she's on another "plane" or whatever you want to call it, reviewing her lessons in this life to choose a path that will bring her closer to "perfection."  BUt dammit, I'm selfish.  I want her to haunt me. I want to know she's still here.  She can work on her life's lessons when I'm on that plane with her.  She has eternity for that, but only a blink with me…  I want more blinks…  I want eternity…  I want Gram back…

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