Last week was my grandmother’s birthday. She is celebrating in Heaven these days.
I was too busy to attend her funeral years ago. My priorities were all messed up. My parents told me that my presence would just complicate the arrangements and I accepted the excuse. Sure, I had just moved to the other side of the United States, had young kids and was getting settled in a new job. But sadly I was just too busy to say good bye to the 102 year old woman who had loved me for so many years.
The memories of a little red suitcase for overnights and hand fed apple scrapings did not occur to me. Nor the water melon seed I planted among her roses that rewarded me with my first taste of the glory of gardening. Or the nightly back scratches in her big poster bed or the creaking of her rattan rocking chair while the giant fan blew against my face, brushing away the wispy strands of my baby fine hair. I did not remember her love of words that she passed on to me. (I often wonder what she would think of her aging granddaughter now as a writer!) And I forgot how her spunky sarcastic humor entertained me and about all those little gifts she would bring out of hiding that she had saved for me when I came for a visit. And how she loved eating peaches better than anything and how she was a great cook but never liked her own cooking because she had “messed with it”.
Yes, I set aside all those things. Because life comes at you fast and when you are young you forget that a time is coming when you will hopefully have made memories that someone holds onto.
A belated birthday wish to you Mimi and even more importantly, my belated gratitude. I remember now.