Monday, October 06, 2008

93, Going On 94



I sat on the bench in my parent's adjacent lot for a long time tonight. By myself, smoking and drinking Tecate out of a can. Late night in the universe, Cary, North Carolina.

The cicadas and crickets were so loud, it was partially deafening. Coupled with the fact that I saw Nick Cave last night in NYC.

No cars drove by the whole time. Nothing. Not one disturbance down this streetlight-lit suburban street.

I thought about a lot. Memories flood and take over, then subside and leave. Leave you with another one as if you are unwrapping a mummy made of foot-long strands of cloth, each one holding a unique significance. Then another one.

My last Grandparent died Friday night. My Mother's Mother, 93 and 7 weeks shy of turning 94.

I stood at "the viewing" tonight with my back to her "lying in state," meeting relatives I'd never met or at least don't remember meeting. Me in my black Hugo Boss suit and my sister in her black ensemble, both of us too freaked out to actually turn and look at the open casket.

I'd like to remember my Grandmother alive. The last time I saw her, earlier this year, she was not doing well, generally failing in health, but nothing in particular taking her down. But she was down. The last two things she said to me were, "Don't ever get this old." and "I'm afraid I won't ever see you again."

She was right on both accounts.

I feel no sadness, only melancholy. We are not supposed to live that long as a species.

But I am fortunate, maybe even "lucky" to have known her for my short 44 years on the planet. Most people half my age have no Grandparents.

She went in her sleep, and it doesn't get any better than that.

She was one of my favorite people in the world, and I know that she knew that. I know that I was one of hers.

Arlie Mansfield.

8 comments:

Mockingbird Girl said...

(hug) Love you sweetie... it was good seeing you last night.

xo
Em

bt said...

James,

So sorry to hear of your loss...our thoughts are with you and your family.

sincerly
bt and mrs bt

gary griffin said...

sorry for your loss.

i am also 44 and by the time i was 30, my last grandmother passed.
she had alzheimer's and it was tough visiting her in her final months.
i had an extremely vivid dream about her the night before she died.
i miss her, but my memories of her bring me peace.

g.

Stacy Leigh said...

I am very sorry for your loss, James.

Tanya said...

my condolences to you and your family, and your right,most people never get to know/meet or spend time with their grandparents. I'm always looking for surrogate grandparents.

Varvara said...

Akira Kurosawa's last dream:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEqKCW8rLw0

here is part I, also:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRcuBRMA2sU
-j

D.L. Wood said...

Your right - "it doesn't get any better than that."

Sometimes I think it's time to let go.

My Grandmother is 104 and she still lives at home and takes care of herself. But with failing hearing and eye sight she mostly just sits. Mostly she is left with her memories. I think she is getting tired of just "being" here. I feel she would like to let go. But that's a hard line to cross sometimes...even at 104

D.L. Wood

Candy said...

Sorry for your loss.