October 28, 2010

Goodbye Grandma

In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

Yesterday was my grandfather's 96th birthday or should I say that it would have been. Hard to believe that so much time has passed and yet not hard at all. I look at my life today and shake my head in amazement. Four years later grandpa would be shocked to see how much has changed, how much has not and how much will be changing...soon.

Four years ago the dark haired beauty was a toddler who didn't understand death. Now she is pushing 6.5 and has no memories of the man I miss. She recognizes his face in pictures but doesn't know that those blue eyes had a special twinkle and no memory how he would sing Molly Malone...badly.

I don't have to close my eyes to hear him or to remember how he would tell me that he didn't "sing good, but he sang loud."

So much has happened since then. The boy I wrote about in Walking With The Dead is far bigger and understands life in different terms now. In some respects you can blame him for some of this. I have never forgotten when he asked me not to die.

But in some ways this particular post is driven by my grandmother.
I love you grandma
Grandma died this past March. She died the night of my 14th wedding anniversary, so it is only fitting that somehow her children chose the same granite for her headstone that graces my kitchen counters. The next time I make a brisket I might take some of the juice to the cemetery for the sole purpose of spilling it on her stone. Something tells me that she wouldn't mind.

There was a time just a few short years ago when my grandfather told me that my grandmother had a great ass for an old lady. I must have given him a funny look because he smiled and told me that he still saw the girl that he fell in love with. He said that he had never been given a greater gift than being loved by grandma and that just holding her hand made him happy.

I never doubted any of that and I suspect that no one who knew my grandparents did either. They were that couple, the one who had the relationship that you wanted to have. Best friends, lovers, partners and life companions.

When I think about my grandfather's comment it is hard not to smile. It was said with a twinkle in his eye and a giggle like he knew that he was getting away with something. But that is because he was. It was the sort of thing that would have made grandma make a face at him but she still would have smiled. They were married for more than 75 years so she was well accustomed to his comments and habits.

Life never stops moving. Seven years ago I had four grandparents and now I have one.

Related Links:

What I Fear
Do The Dead Walk In Dreams
Beloved Wife
Loss- A Familiar Pain
The Cemetery- Who Is In the Box
Dad, I Didn't Get To say Goodbye
Grandma's Dying & Grandpa Has Cancer
Five Years Later
We Aren't That Family
Mothers Love Their Mommies Too

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