In MemoriamPosted: March 23, 2012
Grandma Inez left us early last night. She didn’t have two more weeks. She had two days. She died in her own bed, with all of her children in the room with her.
I missed my sister’s call, but I knew when I read her text saying simply ‘give me a call when you get a chance.’ I called her back and had the short conversation, tears rolling down my face. When I got off the phone, i quietly asked my husband for my medicine, then I took a shower and went to bed.
I only lay there a minute, facing the wall, before he came in and lay down next to me, putting his arm around me, telling me he was sorry about grandma, and that he loves me.
I couldn’t speak. I had so many things to say, and nothing to say. I had a knot in my throat choking off the words before they could do any more than form in my heart, sometimes before they could do that much.
I put his other arm around me and held his hand. We lay like that, not speaking, for a long time. All I could hear was my own breathing inside my head.
And all I felt was selfish.
I couldn’t stop myself from wondering why my father had never bothered to call me back. From wondering why my mother hadn’t called to check on me, when my sister told me she’d called her to let her know. From feeling that all the family that was here before me who loved me no matter what was gone.
I miss my grandparents. All of them. Because they never made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Because to them, I was always perfect just the way I was.
It didn’t matter if I didn’t go to school for an extra twelve years. It didn’t matter if I was depressed. It didn’t matter how I looked or felt or acted, they always loved me, they were always proud of me, and they never let me down.
That is who I want to be when I grow up.
I rolled over, and I hugged my husband. I held him tightly, and he held me, until I couldn’t anymore. I felt his back under my hands, and I thought about how much I love him, how much I want things to be okay, how much I want us to be happy.
After another long time, we both rolled over again and snuggled up back to back. He went to sleep, and I dozed some of the night, tossing and turning for most of it, hugging my pillows.
I think to Grandma Inez, love meant pillows. She made me dozens of pillows over my lifetime. Maybe that’s why pillows mean love to me. Pillows mean love and comfort and hugs.
My grandmother always knew I loved her. And she always gave me pillows.