Today was a weird day for my emotions. I woke up this morning missing my Grandma Carol terribly. The one memory that stands out the most to me (and has been playing in my head over and over again today) is when me and my Grams and Grandpa took her out to eat at a seafood restaurant one evening. It was about four months before she died, and about three weeks before she had her stroke that paralyzed her. I remember my boyfriend (at the time) and I riding in the front of his Jeep Liberty, my grandma was in the back seat. The windows were rolled down and we were blaring “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. I remember looking back at her and laughing while she was tapping her foot and singing the lyrics. The wind was blowing her salt and (mostly) pepper hair back, the sun was shining on her face, she was sober, and she looked …. free. She was smiling.
That’s my Grandma and my Mom. This was back when I thought my family was finally coming together. I had asked my grandma to move in with me so I could take care of her, my mom was staying with us a lot – we were all together.
I ordered Catfish for grandma that night (she couldn’t read very well) and I think it was the last time she ate seafood. That memory was sucker-punching me this morning over and over again to the point that I was nearly sobbing by the time I got to work.
This was after she had her stroke and was paralyzed on her left side. She shot me the bird to prove her right side was working just fine.
She maintained such a funny, cheerful personality despite everything she went through.
She was an amazing woman. This was taken four days before she passed.
65 years old. It hardly seems fair.
and then she was gone.
It was hard to imagine my charismatic, hell-raising, slightly racist grandma in that casket. I’d never hear her voice again (except for that one time in my dream when she told me she was okay), she’d never cook for me again, I’d never be able to tell her my problems and her give me the wise wisdom of “Piss on it. If you can’t piss on it, shit on it. If you can’t shit on it, fuck it all.” She’ll never call me a lazy ass for using the potato peeler instead of the knife. All that I have left is what I remember. And my memories can never do her justice. She was so much bigger than a memory.
Plus, with my birthday coming up, I always remember her calling and leaving me a voicemail singing happy birthday, and then at the end she said “This will be the last time I ever get to sing happy birthday to you. I love you.” And she was right. She knew she was dying. We were all hanging on and she was slipping away.
Also, last night I had a dream (or more like remembered) the day after Thanksgiving when I came home from the soup kitchen and Andy had already packed all of his belongings and moved. In my dream (which was just as it happened), I opened the door and saw my empty living room. I went downstairs and saw all of the boxes gone, his clothes, an empty closet, until I stumbled my way into the bathroom to see all of his things gone and I crumpled into a heap on the floor and sobbed until I crawled into the bed and passed out. I woke up this morning more exhausted than when I went to sleep. It was bad enough living that shit through the first time, it just flat-out sucked having to dream about it.
I really thought he would have left me a note or something. Some kind of something for me to hang on to. Something that told me he really gave a shit – but that he didn’t have a choice but to leave me. Weeks prior to him moving I wrote a note to him and stuck it deep in a box for him to find when he unpacked. I never asked him if he found it and read it, kept it, or threw it away. I don’t think I want to know.
I guess maybe some of this is coming from therapy, which was a bitch today. I told Dr. Lee about Andy breaking up with his first girlfriend, post “us” …. and how sad it made me for that girl. Whenever you go to therapy, they always drag out of you how everything makes you feel. Whether you want to feel these things or not, you are going to in those sessions. I told him about my dream. He said that I was associating my loss of Andy with how his ex-girlfriend must be feeling right now. I asked him if that was an empath trait. He said that it very well could be or it could just be simple empathy (these are two different things), and I was just remembering our breakup because I knew that it was very likely she was going through the pain of not having Andy anymore.