February 11, 2012

Love Will Save the Day

Dear Tom Selleck . . .

My granny is dying.  There.  I said it.

*deep breath*

I'm going to miss her.  A LOT!  She has practically raised me, you know.  After my almighty dad hopped that train for heaven, she and I grew closer and closer while my mother and I grew farther and farther apart.  While my granny was a big part of my childhood, she's been an even bigger part of my adulthood.

I don't know why she waited until I was pushing 30 to teach me to cook, or if maybe I just didn't pay attention to her until then.  Either way, I now know my way around the kitchen thanks to her.  I will be forever grateful to have her pot roast secret.  Now that I'm 40, I've almost mastered it!  Or not.  But I give it my all every time I try.  That may be one of the most important lessons my granny has taught me.  Don't do something half-assed!

She's not even dying half-assed.  She's doing it her way and it's the most beautiful experience to have the privilege of being a part of.  She's been preparing for her Big Day for quite some time now.  We are at peace and she has given me all of the tools I need to survive and thrive.  I just acknowledged that to her a couple of months ago.  Gran and I are good.  There is nothing left unsaid or undone.

When she first got sick, it seemed to everyone this was just par for the course with her.  After all, she is nearly 94 years old.  But I knew.  I looked around me one night and saw her crocheted scarves and afghans piled in my room to keep us warm and her veggie soup and green beans in my freezer to keep our bellies full and warm through the winter.  I've always had these things, but I saw them in a different light that night.  That's when I knew it was the beginning of the end.

I didn't deny what was happening, but instead tuned in to watch it all unfold in the most amazing way.

All of this end of life hoopla has seemed very deja vu like.  There are times I have questioned my own sanity.  This afternoon as I sat speaking to my man (dad) upstairs and to my granny who is coming and going between our worlds, the song 'You Gotta Be' by Des'Ree came on.  As cheesy as this sounds, it's my 'Life Song'.

In the early fall of 1997, I was hurriedly packing my bags to fly home and care for my dying dad and that song came on.  I stopped.  I listened.  I tried to embody every lyric.  I promised my dad to be all of those things and more.  So began my journey with my dad through the end of his life and beyond.  Even though my dad was still here physically, I can remember that being the first time I spoke to him 'out there'.

My granny knows I'm all those things . . . and a bag of chips.  I am her second favorite after all.  But today is the day we really honed in on the art of communicating for a lifetime.  Thanks to my dad.  A dad and a granny with me at all times?  Priceless.

true story.

Edie B. Kuhl