Friday, February 20, 2009

"i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)....e.e. cummings

I had a draft prepared for a different post tonight....but, my evening drafted a new one. I've mentioned before that I am moving out of my Grandparent's home, so, I suspect there will be more posts about the move and the Grands before the move finally happens. The amount of memories for me in this house is astounding. After Mom J died, I made this house my home. We made a pretty good effort of purging old outdated items that had no real sentimental value, early on, but, there were items we just weren't sure what to do with and so, we boxed them up and stashed them. Well, for obvious reasons, we can't just leave them stashed anymore.....someone has to take ownership of them and move them. While I'm happy to be that person, it still means I have to move these items. Therefore, since I live alone and am doing most of this packing alone, I find myself steeped in memories. I miss my Grandmother. You cannot know how much. I spent most of last year mourning her and working through my grief, however, occaisionally I cannot help myself, but, I am overcome by a sense of loss I cannot describe. We were very close and I cared for her as she died, so, my connection to her is very deep and spiritual and sometimes, I just cave. Sometimes, I feel like a part of my soul left with her. I feel her presence here. Sometimes, I even smell her. She wasn't one of those women who wore fragrance, in fact, she hated perfumes, they bothered her hayfever, but, she had her own scent, something I will never forget. When she died, we discussed cleaning out her room and getting rid of her things, but, I stopped everyone and asked if we could wait for awhile, I wasn't ready to just pack her up and whisk away her essence. Of course they respected my wishes and we waited. There were personal things in her room that I knew others might want, so, when I was ready, we went through her room and those who wanted things took what they wanted and what was left I decided to hold onto for a little longer. Sometimes, well, lot's of times, I take my younger sister for granted and tonight I was reminded of this. Because I was moving things around and emptying closets for the move, I had to empty out the closet in what once was my Grandmother's bedroom. There in the bottom of the closet were three boxes, labeled in my sister's handwriting, personal items of my Grandmother's that I was not ready to let go of. My Sister had lovingly packed and labeled these boxes and stashed them away for me, so that I did not have to make decisions about their disposition at a time when I was so close to my grief. Each box had an assortment of items, related to each other, or rather, similar in possible sentimental value, framed photos that were on the dresser in her room, empty jewelry gift boxes, from ages past, some old prescription eye glasses, small notes, photographs my Grandmother had slipped under a piece of glass on top of her dresser or nightstand....of us kids at various ages, music boxes she displayed around her room, these items have true historical value and will be properly stored for a time when we or I will want to reminisce. But, the box that I could not get past was the box with just a few items, which again, my dear Sister, packed with great love, it was the box that contained my Grandmothers pocket book and her night gowns. Just those items, the gowns freshly washed and folded and the pocket book as it was the day my Grandmother last used it. I miss her. I miss her laugh when something really tickled her. Her voice when she was whispering, which was never really a whisper because she wasn't the type of woman who much cared about what others thought and would just say what SHE thought, anywhere, anytime (much to my Mother's chagrin and embarrassment). I miss her arrival at family parties. She would pull up in her Burgundy Monte Carlo, pristine in it's condition, and all the kids would call out, "Mom Jerrye is here" and several of us would fall out the front door and go out to help her haul in all the stuff she always brought with her.....usually a six pack of every type of soda everyone of her grandkids drank, ice, usually paper products appropriate to the event we were celebrating, maybe her own chair, depending on where we were and the ever popular Hostess gift. I miss the Hostess gift. I miss her hugs and the way she stuck out her chin so you would kiss her on the cheek....eventually she put less effort into that and I began kissing her on the forehead. I miss her ascerbic wit and dry humor and curiosity. I miss her intuitive eyes, keen and sharp. Even as her red hair faded and grayed and her face weathered and wrinkled, her eyes remained piercing and inquisitive. Yes, I believe there will be more mourning, more grief and more memories to sift through. I did not remember that my Sister had tucked away those boxes and while I am sad tonight after their discovery, I am grateful to her for her foresight to pack them as she did and for the love she imparted in her efforts to honor our Grandmother and respect my grief. I will remember to thank her for her gift.

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