Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
We arrived back from Barbados to a message from my mother, saying to call "whenever I get in, no matter how late it is.". (This always means someone is Dead. People never say to call "no matter how late it is" unless someone is either Dead or Nearly Dead.) It was just a hair of trepidation that I called her back, to confirm that, indeed, Someone was Dead.
So, yes, my grandmother passed away the morning of the night we returned to the good ol' U.S. of A. I foresee your condolences and I thank you for them. I loved my grandmother very much and saw her nearly every day of my life growing up, and almost that often when I was actually grown up. She taught me so much, and was strong and gentle and lovely to me all of my life. She was 94.
But, by 94, she was only a shadow of herself. I'm happy to know that she is no longer suffering, is no longer fighting, is no longer afraid. I hurt mostly for my grandfather, who is inconsolable and sobs that he "misses his wife". He is 97. They were married longer than the average U.S. lifespan.
Now, I know it is the Beginning of the End. He will not last long, grieving for her. When he is gone, they will sell The Farm. The place I grew up will become tract mansions, surely as my tummy is sunburned. My family will fight bitterly amongst themselves, the aunts and uncles who used to go on vacations with us and come over for margarita parties will become mad with greed, their lips twisting like pipe cleaners.
But I don't have time to think of that. I have to repack the bags I just pulled tank tops and bikinis and shorts from with respectable enough clothing to wear to a funeral. I have to hop on a plane tomorrow morning. I have to try and tie up numerous loose ends before then.
Then, I will come back and regale all of you with stories about the lovely island country of Barbados.
I'll miss you, Grandma. I've missed you for years.