It Belonged to my Grandmother
It has been a couple of months now since my grandmother passed away. Admittedly, I am still in mourning. We visited my family farm just a week ago, walked through the woods and the fields, drove through the hills that she drove through a million times like a racecar driver. It was hard to stand in her house knowing that she just isn’t here anymore. She is here in a way, and I know that she will always be with me, I feel her presence and I often hear her in my mind, though her voice is different now. I have brought home some of her jewelry and some of the clothes that I remember her often wearing. I try to take a little piece of her with me everywhere that I go. I still tear up every time that someone comments on one of the pieces, and I tell them that it was my grandma’s.
I guess in a way I am terribly frightened that she will be forgotten. It’s not very rational, but then memories do slip away and they are easily forgotten. I don’t want for that to happen with her. My grandmother was such a remarkable woman; she was so brave and free. She never would have categorized herself in such a way, but she was a heck of a feminist. Her entire life she battled to show that she could do anything that a man could do, and that she could do it even better. She was so proud of her exceptional driving skills. In her nineties she was still driving a giant commercial tractor to mow her lawn. She climbed into the stalls with the irritable racehorses that outweighed her by hundreds of pounds. When they bit her she bit them back on the ear…seriously there were very few things that she was afraid of. She told me that one time, when she was a teacher, there was a teenaged student who she was in an argument with in the hallway for some reason. My grandmother told me that she felt terrible because when the girl got in her face and yelled at her my grandmother shoved her away. Unfortunately, the girl was standing in front of a stairwell at the time and she fell down the stairs. As far as I know, the girl was absolutely fine. I cannot imagine what would have happened if that occurred in this day and age. Luckily for my grandma, people weren’t lawsuit happy back then. But no one could ever say that my grandmother didn’t always defend herself.
I am grateful for having her as a role model in my life, and I miss her. I am grateful that she was able to escape her exhausted body, but for some reason I am still having trouble letting go and I am not really sure exactly why. I can barely look at old pictures of her without crying. I have some of her coffee cups so that I can use them every day and think of her. It’s totally possible that I am holding on too tightly. I realize that lately I have been a little more sad and a little more tired than I usually am. I am simply trying to remind myself that it’s probably just a matter of time. I miss her, and not just for me, I miss her for the good person that she was…just existing on earth in general. Maybe by holding on I can find a way to let go. Or maybe by letting it all go, by releasing the fear that somehow I will wake up one morning and not remember her the way that I do today, I can find a way to hold on.