Monday, February 9, 2015
An Era of Threads Part 6
On January 16th, Grandma Edna passed away. According to Dad, over the last few weeks she communicated her readiness to go Home. Without much fanfare her soul left this mortal coil in the middle of January. At peace with those close to her. Dad said it was beautiful.
I went to the funeral.
It was the end of an era.
A season of family and fallout. Wounds and healings. A permanent parting of ways for the two branches of this family.
The sky was a thick gray as I stood on the outskirts of the grave side ceremony. The tule fog simply waiting to be unfurled and blanket the little town once the sun set. I watched her family and friends laugh, wipe tears and shared knowing looks. Grandma was a woman well loved by those around her and I was glad. I felt for my Dad who shared stories and scripture verses. Caught between a family that was and a family that is cannot be easy for him. Grief is just different in that situation.
The service ended and I walked to the quiet end of her casket. I thanked her for the example of strength-the way she defended her own ethic without compromise. I admired how she could communicate what she thought of people. I loved how she liked everyone she met, then decided whether to dislike them later. Her sense of style was impeccable. With a steely grace she would walk into a room. Her daily crossword puzzles and Yahtzee kept her mind sharp until the end. I honored her as my Grandmother.
Then I said goodbye for the last time.
Turning around I met Aunt2 and Uncle2. They live out of state now. With a warm hug we caught up on their new life. The task at hand and the gloomy cold that is Central Valley fog.
Then I set my gaze to the other side of Grandma’s casket. The family she loved deeply stood together. It would be the last time I would ever see them. I walked over and waited for conversations to ebb. Uncle looked at me with no hint of recognition. I reminded him of who I was and in surprise he said hello. It was good to see him again. I gave him a quick hug and he turned to address those standing behind me.
Aunt was next. My heart brimming with love for her, I hugged her. We looked into each other’s eyes for a moment and I said,
“Sorry for your loss.”
Her soft reply was, “Sorry for yours.”
My heart broke for Aunt. Grandma was her best friend. They had a very close Mother/Daughter relationship. I waited for the right words, “But you two had something special.”
Aunt’s eyes welled up. Her arms reached and I melted into them. For a moment I was a little unscathed girl being held by an aunt who loved deeply. We savored that moment then parted.
“Goodbye.” I simply said. She nodded.
The quiet ride home I watched groves of orange trees blur for acres. My eye followed the power line as it seamlessly flowed alongside the road. Never again would I have to travel there again. I could leave the pain and take the lessons with me. Let the bad leave its’ scar and walk forward in strength.
It was finished.