Yesterday was Saint Patrick’s day, clover day in my house, someone’s birthday, the third Tuesday of March but mostly the anniversary of the day that my soul got a little quieter. The day that my Grammy died.
I’ve said it a thousand ways over the years she was a beacon of unconditional love in my life. Thinking about the tremendous capacity of that woman to take care of people takes my breath away.
As noon and my desperation for a caffeine mainline creep up on me I think about that woman buzzing around all day long magically transforming everything that she touched inanimate and otherwise. I don’t know how she did it, physically and emotionally. The older and more crazed that I get the more astonished that I become at her tenacity.
Naturally I suppose, I spend a lot of time contemplating what it means to be a mother. The concept of family. And mostly how not to fuck up my kid. Last night I was cooking dinner over looking this:
and attempting to inspire some sort of love of learning into a tired, hungry, cranky six year old. A tired, hungry, cranky six year old that my entire existence has revolved around for the past seven years. A cranky six year old who has the whole world in her eyes. I know that one day she’s going to take the world by storm. But for now let’s just figure out how many combinations of numbers add up to eight without inspiring two breakdowns.
And because every series of thoughts this week twist and turn until they land on what would my Grammy do? What would she say? God damn, Grammy please today and everyday give me strength.
Then I pause. Breath. Let the reassurance that she raised me to be strong pulse into my appendages. The water welling in my eyes reabsorbs and I feed my whinny baby the still under ripe mango that she’s been eyeballing for 3 days. We color three squares blue last instead of first. Then dinner, boxed furniture construction, a comatose momma on the couch, punishment for lying doled out, a sweet apology and a good night story that she read to me. I was spent and not a single drop of booze consumed in the name of Saint Patty.
Old Hat, New Hat. Today she’s reading it aloud to her class.
At the breakfast table in a rare moment of vulnerability Ever asks,
“Momma do you really think that I’ll do a good job?”
“Baby, you’ve got this. You’ve been reading that book for a very long time. Let’s practice the hard pages.”
She nails it.
I didn’t get to practice enough of the hard pages with my Grammy. I’ve been reading and living the chapters of struggle and heart break for the past 9 years. Each plot a little different from the last, but always the same protagonist.
A couple of weeks ago in a bathroom pilled high with boxes I stood in the mirror gazing into the disheveled reflection of my being and burst into tears. Happy tears for a change. “My life finally doesn’t suck Grammy” blurted out. I’m so ridiculously far from having it all figured out, but things finally feel better. My days are mostly filled with laughter, amazement, gratitude and critical thought. That’s the most that any of us can really ask for.
I think that we most definitely overestimate our place underground. But, if you’ve been watching this tilt-a-whirl called my life since you left this reality then I’ve got good news Grammy. We’re going to sit out the next few rounds, I’m settling in.