My grandmother is dying.
It’s weird to be thousands of miles away, working and reading and humming along to everyday tunes when a link in our chain is going, going, going away to stay. Last night I thought of her and imagined a link disappearing. Two strands before and after, severed, hanging limp.
On my limp end is my mom. Then me. Then Z. On the other, generations of women I don’t know. Faces I wouldn’t recognize. For a minute I feel the loss of not knowing them as acutely as the loss of the one I know. The one I remember. Never laughing, never crying, never angry, sick, frustrated, lost, confused and certainly, most certainly never dying.
I know that on the other side I will see her and wondered this morning, driving in through fog and rain, if I will see her then. Surely she is more than my Hallmark every October with the offering tucked inside. More than a place to go when I’m in town and a call to check off my list every other weekend. Has it been months already? Months? But you were always much more often on my mind.
I’m sorry I never looked past the sweet slices of your giving and the too-small suits that never suited. I’m sorry I never asked. Didn’t discover your dreams, devour your disappointments.
And thank you for the ties that bind me. The twists and knots of our delicate chain you stitched, and will stitch without scarring. Have assured with your simple believing.
And for being proud.
Always so proud.