Last Tuesday, my grandmother passed away. There are so many ways to say that someone has died, but no good ones. It wasn’t like that – passing. She said, “I’m sorry this is taking so long,” even though it wasn’t. She said, “okay, I’m not going anywhere,” and sat up sweating and lived another day to eat cheetos and tell me about prohibition. She’d been having seizures that made her arms flail and made her drop things and exhausted her. We rented a commode. We held her up to bathe her. “Put your arms around me,” I said. And she did, leaning her weight into mine and resting her soft cheek on my shoulder.
“I can do it myself,” she kept saying to all of us. “Bring me my cane, I’ll walk.” And some days, she did do it herself, surprising us all. On Thursday night, she was tired, but singing. On Friday morning, she couldn’t get out of bed even to pee. We bought “Silhouettes” in pink and blue. On Saturday she walked all the way to the porch and ate barbecued chicken and swore.
At the grocery store, I picked out a pink sippy cup with Disney princesses on it because she’d just told me about the time her older brother took her to see Snow White in the movie theater when she was ten, she’d been so frightened of the queen, she loved a Saturday matinee. When I showed her the cup and asked what she’d like in it, water, juice — “whiskey,” she said. And that’s what she had.
There is so much more and I can’t say it.