To my grandmother on the anniversary of her death

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It has been six years.  I still expect her to be in her little, old lady apartment when I go home.  The last time I saw her, her mind was already gone but she cried.  She knew it would be the last time too.  I was leaving for Italy.  I felt immense guilt for leaving her to die like that, in those awful conditions.  If anyone deserved to die a peaceful death surrounded by love it was her.  Instead she shriveled up, mind and all, all alone.  How she managed I'll never know. 

If we look at the lives of those that came before us most of them had ptsd in some form or another.  There was no fancy label for it then.  She just went about her daily duties and endured as best she could.  A daddy that left to start a new family, a baby that died, a shack of a house that she would later be kicked out of by the city for being unfit.  

My grandfather returned home from the war a changed man I'm told.  He never worked after, just tinkered out in the yard, planting Irises and telling wild, made up tales to anyone that would listen.  He was mean as a snake to her.  He'd ridiculed her, her simpleness, to the point of crying and pleading to stop. He never missed an opportunity to tell her she was poor, trash.  She worked her whole life at the nursing home, putting food on the table for four kids and never complained not once, with all those smells and all that death.  She'd go in to work early to get away from him.  

I know she loved me with an everlasting love.  Her soft body was the safest place I knew as a child.  

I never got to tell her how I'd found that her family had actually immigrated into Texas from the Canary Islands, how they'd founded San Antonio and were descended from Queen Isabella herself.  How revered they were in Texas.  She never got to see the monuments erected in their honor.  I never got to tell her she wasn't trash after all.  As we say in Texas, she would have got a really big kick out that. 

Not a day goes by that I don't think of her.  Its only now at almost thirty-three I realize what she sacrificed and how it effects my own life.  It's too late now to ask all the important questions.  I hope we meet again. The idea of heaven seems imperfect without her.

1 comment:

  1. I think that is the hardest part when people die, all the questions we have now, that only they can answer. Sometimes I'll hear a song I know my mum would love and its just heartbreaking to not be able to share this life with them. For me I really am thankful that this isn't it. You and I hadn't got too much into it recently and I am not trying to push anything but I just gotta say, there HAS to be a God, there HAS to be something else, because this life sucks, its so hard and theres so much ugliness there has to be something more. I love you JRR