I glance at the calendar, February 27th, another year gone by, are we already at three? I reactively swallow, attempting to rid myself of the familiar lump in my throat, a lump that’s seemingly smaller with each passing year. I wonder, will someday there be no lump to swallow, and when it’s gone will I miss it?
‘This house is no longer part of where I’m going… I’m ready…. ready to move on to the next stage of my life.’ So with no final look, the last box was loaded, and you ‘moved on’, leaving behind the place you’d called home for the last 30 years. Your statement so tense and abrupt, until you reached the last words then they seemed to softened almost as if you’d found your peace. It was those words that haunted me the weeks following your death. Where exactly did you think you were going, and to what stage were moving on to…. Did you sense something coming that we all missed?
It would explain so much if you did. Finances in order, belongings sorted, thinned, boxed, and stored, home sold, no loose ends. You’d taken care of us until your very end, nothing left to worry about but casket color, flower choices….. and…. one more. Your promised plan, can you remember?
|He tearfully said it over and over, 'Mom this is a really sad day.'|
|Dear Nana, I love you! I will miss you forever and ever. -Jo|
It was going to be so simple, just one bus stop earlier would leave him just a few footsteps from your front door, the front door we’d found just a couple of blocks from our own, one that could serve as your new address until we figured out the rest. You’d have a quick visit, maybe a snack, and then send him on his way, while you both excitedly awaited to repeat the same the next day. He still mentions your plan, ‘It’s not fair, is it mom, we didn’t even get a chance to try.’ Right Jo, not fair, not fair at all. One night is not enough, not for him, not for us, and not for you, you were ready and wanting a new phase, a phase filled with visits from grandchildren in a small mountain town.
Your impression on him is so strong. He remembers so well, your costumes, your games, your affection, all of you. Jonas and you…. like two peas in a pod. He was the reason we grew so close. So close, could I say that we’d become best friends? No, not quite, I think we all know who really shared that title. Given your age difference it was eerily strange how much you two had in common. I watch with curious observant eyes as your presence still loiters in his actions.
|Professor Trelawney, she spent a couple hours casting spells and telling fortunes for small children|
|A black widow, brewed some potions and shot her silly string spider webs to all who enter her spook lair|
|Mother Nature, called upon the winds and enchanted little ones who littered|
Word mix ups, a need to lead while in play, even his shared taste in worn Christmas attire, all inspired by your presence. His intense teasing, something we all fall victim to, yes I blame you for this too. Do you remember the relentless teasing game you’d play? The one where he’d plead for you to stop, if only his eyes, and smirking smile, weren’t telling you something different. And there is only one who he could possibly inherit those nonsense words and unreachable disposition when he does get angry. What about his desire to love and help others? So often he jumps at the opportunity to serve those in need. Much like the stories that flooded my mailbox in card and letter form after your death. Your caring actions inspired so many to write, a desire for them to share their story of your acts of kindness. Beautiful words from beautiful people, telling me beautiful things, things that I already knew. What a beautiful impression you have made.
You always did have a way of making an impression. Maybe it was your outspoken ways, or possibly your outfit of choice. It could have been your strong drive and ambition, and then there was your temper, darn it if it didn’t get the best of you sometimes. But what about your intense desire to mother and love, always the first to offer a helping hand. Up for any challenge, didn’t know the words ‘I quit’, the impossible was only a trial, one you’d eventually conquer.
|So I'm not judging, I wear yoga pants almost every day, but tiger strips and track pants, kind of a weird combo.... right?|
I was the one that would dispute your outspoken words, struggle with your drive and ambition, judge your outfit choices, and often argue with that impressionable temper of yours. Of these things I am not proud, for I was the one that you mothered and loved, the one that you’d first extend a hand to. It was I that leaned on you, as you whispered ‘Never ever give up!’, words of encouragement when the trial before me seemed unbeatable. But are these the things of your impression?
Maybe for some, but not me, your left impression is far more precious. An amazing mother, absolutely, I follow your example every day, but it was your role as a grandmother that is the shadow left upon my heart. A grandmother that books are written, and movies are made. A grandmother that no other can be, you’ve left shoes behind that sadly are too big to fill.
|She'd happily hold this 'frustrating, screaming, nothing can make him happy' baby for hours, something most could only tolerate for a few moments|
I share your stories with my boys, I’ll ‘Never ever give up!’, they’ll never ever forget their ‘Nana’. Abe, only a baby when you left us, giggles at my descriptions. Sol smiles and nods as if he remembers, although I think it’s only the stories he remembers, he too was very young. But Jonas, oh how he remembers, he is the one reminding me of forgotten moments. For him your impression will linger always, his ‘lump’ will never fade. So do I know what his remembered impression is…… of course I do..... can you not see..... it is so simple..... for it is the same as mine.