two years ago in february my grandmother stepped off of a curb wrong and fell. she did not break anything but it rattled her. a few months before this, she got word that the cancer in her lung was growing. slowly, but growing. after her fall, she just started an incredibly fast slide out of this life. valentine’s day she was having dinner with my mom, daughter, my boyfriend and i. 5 weeks later she was gone.
she and my grandfather lived with my mother in her tiny little cottage for 5 months after the time when they were both in the hospital with pneumonia. after he passed she was there with my mother for 2 more years. as she declined, a hospital bed was brought into the living room in front of the fireplace with a fire that never went out. candles were always lit. music playing. people came and went. bringing and sharing food. curling up in the bed with her. holding her, doing reiki on her, singing and laughing. it was a powerful healing time for everyone who stepped into that house.
people who said they could not deal with being with their own parents when they passed, came often and sat and held her hand. they were as healed through this process as she was. what a gift to see a place of rejoicing and celebration of a life amidst the grief of a passing. it was all of those things.
my dauther’s birthday was the 20th and she was in a performance of her dance company on that day. my mother and grandmother were supposed to come, but grandma was too frail to leave the house. in one of the pieces that was about dreams the choreographer had interviewed several people and played the audio of them sharing their dreams. she had interviewed my grandmother and mother. and as we sat in that theater, 5 days before she passed, we heard her voice over the sound system saying, “my wish is that lily has a happy life.” they were almost the last words we would hear from her.
my grandfather’s birthday is march 25. he had passed 2 years before in july, in the hospital with all of his family gathered around him. my daughter and i held his feet sending him reiki energy as he went.
two years later, early in the morning of the 27th, nanny went to join him. we had been expecting the call and my mother called at 3:00 a.m. to say that she was gone. we cried and held each other and at 5:00, i got up to walk to my mom’s house a short 6 blocks away. the morning was fresh and it rained in the night. it was perfectly still. the sky was clear except for a few gauzy clouds over the moon. and as i looked up i saw an enormous smiley face made from the tattered clouds back lit by the moon. a perfect smiley face beaming down on me in the pre-dawn morning.
i feel so blessed that not only had i had my grandparents in my life until i was almost 50, but my daughter had her great grandparents well into her teens and still has her grandparents. i love you nanny and grandpa. we miss you both
two years ago, i was stepping into a beautiful new life full of untold promise. that life was blown apart at the seams and no longer exists, and here i find myself, again, poised at the edge of a new life. may this new life be sustaining, inspiring, exciting, ever evolving, but have deep strong roots, some stability to hold all of the change that will undoubtedly come. a balance. the strong rooted tree that stands by the flowing river.
this is the only life we have, may it be glorious and full of love. my wish, is that all of us “have a happy life.”