I know I said I’d finish the how we met story, and I will, but not today.
My great grandmother passed away a little over a year ago. I don’t even know exactly how old she was, though I knew last year, she was closer to 100 than 90 is all I can say with absolute certainty, and suddenly I miss her so much.
It was when I was knitting the other night, somehow I just started remembering her, her hands, the way they worked with a crochet hook my whole life, the way they got in the last few years when she couldn’t use them anymore, But what I miss, and need from her more than anything else is her joy. She always had it pressing in against whatever sadness or disappointment she lived through, she always returned to joy, to an indomitable love for life, whatever it looked like. She lived through so much, and she always loved, she found a way to laugh about it, she was never down long.
I feel as though I didn’t say goodbye. I was there at the funeral; I gave one of the tributes. I didn’t see her. We were almost late arriving because my dad was half an hour late picking up the kids and I at the airport. He rushed me upstairs for the family gathering, and they closed the casket before the service started. I never saw her face, and right now that really hurts. In spite of everything, I never really said goodbye.
I spend so much of my life afraid, and sad, and depressed. I feel every injustice, I weep for things that do not change, I wonder often what the point is when we are so frail, and there is so much evil that can crush everything we love without a moments notice. My granny could somehow always point to the good, to the lovely. I could always believe when she was around that there was more beauty than ugliness, that life really does triumph over death in a million ways each and everyday, and that all the pain of being alive is worth it. I can’t do that for myself, I tried to learn from her how she did it; I still can’t. Maybe I just haven’t lived long enough yet.
I miss her silly songs, that she sang to me when I was little, and then to my babies. This baby will not get to meet her, and I weep for that loss as well.
I miss her stories, the way she would laugh when she told me about losing everything and starting over, the way she told me almost every single visit after grandpa passed away the story of how she and he met, how she must have clung with such ferocity to the happiness that was there to find.
I miss her quoting poetry, and songs, her favorite was, “Yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.”
I miss her laugh, and her smile, her sense of humor, her wisdom. I wonder if I will ever find the peace and contentment that she seemed to have. I wonder if I will ever stop wishing I could see her again, one last time.