Sometimes, when I would be out driving around, the sky would be blue, the air fresh and I would be gripped with this thought that any moment I will get a call saying that my Grandma has died.
Then I’d consider that she has virtually no health problems, I’d call and talk with her and hear that her mind was still clear and with it, and I would be reassured into thinking she would be with me for possibly another 10 years.
This Wednesday I got the call. My Grandma suddenly passed away. I had just talked to her last week. She sounded good. The conversation was short because I had been so blue and I didn’t want her to know that I was. I didn’t want her to worry. I had not talked to her as much as I usually do because of The Funk. She mentioned that it had been awhile. “Awhile” means I missed a week. We talk weekly.
Sometimes several times a week.
She asked about the boys. She asked what I was up to. I told her I was preparing to audition for The Sound Of Music.
“Oh! I love that show! When is it?” she asked.
“The audition is in April. The show runs in the fall.”
“Oh, I am definitely going to see that!”
But for some reason I knew she wouldn’t. For some reason I could see myself on stage wondering if Grandma was watching me perform from a heavenly place.
She has never seen me perform.
She has always wanted to see Neil Diamond perform. I heard on the radio that he was having a concert near Denver this summer. For Christmas I got us tickets. Her daughters all got tickets to go too. Grandma was so excited. So excited!
“What should I wear?” she asked me.
“I don’t know Grandma!” I laughed at her. “You have 7 months to figure it out though. You always look great. You can’t go wrong.”
My mother, my aunts and I all laughed and teased that she was going to make us crazy for the next 7 months.
But I kind of knew that she was not going to be there. I had teased that maybe buying something for an 82-year-old that far out in advance, was not the smartest thing to do. I had vowed that if she didn’t make it, I’d be going to the concert anyway. She would be crushed if I missed it.
She called sometime in December or January…maybe November…
“When are you coming to see me?”
“I don’t know but I want to so bad! It seems that its been so long!”
I saw her this year. I just can’t remember when it was. This summer?
I saw her.
But that she was asking me to come made me think again that her time was coming soon and somehow she knew too.
We were taking the boys to see her for Spring Break. Next weekend. I missed it by a week and half. I was so close to seeing her! So close! I don’t know that I will ever be ok with that.
Buddy, always so tender-hearted, cried. Bug, realized this meant no school and took off to pack.
“I can’t believe Bug isn’t upset about this!” Buddy scolded.
“He is. Everyone responds to these things differently. Remember when Theodore died? You refused to cry because you had promised that old dog that you wouldn’t. Bug started cleaning the house. It took awhile, but you both finally gave in and cried the rest of the day.”
We took the boys shopping for new dress shoes and shirts. We cut their hair and I groomed their nails.
“We will look good for The Rosa,” Bug said.
“It’s a Rosary, Bug.”
“Oh. What is that anyway?”
I had called and asked Caren the same thing earlier, rather unsure myself.
“It’s a special prayer service,” and I explained what to expect.
After grooming the boys, I tended to myself.
I have Mountain Feet. I so need a pedicure!
I trimmed and polished my own nails. It’s funny how one wants to look nice for a funeral. I have considered my hair, nails, dress. I wished there was time to lose weight. But funerals are fast. There isn’t time to prepare like you do for a wedding. So we go with our toenails cut too short and sloppily painted. Instead of enhancing beauty, my make up accentuates my red, puffy eyes and tears.
This is the best I’ll be able to do Grandma. It will be the best any of us can do.
I knew it was coming but I still can’t believe it. I have thought all year about what I would say at her funeral and now I don’t know that I will say anything.