I am numb. Am finding it difficult to write about my grandma in the past tense. I went from sorrow to anger and back, through every corner of denial, panic and sadness, and I am now here, sitting in front of the longest letter ever written.
I used to tell everything to grandma. She always heard it with unconditional love and lack of judgement. It wasn’t like telling things to mom for which there were always consequences, questions asked and being held responsible. To grandma, I could just say it and get it off of my chest and she would just hear it. I loved that about her and it reminds me, that of all people on this planet, she was probably the only one I could say anything to. And now… I decided to keep the tradition going to write a never ending letter in which I will keep on telling her what goes on in my life.
It’s such a paralysing pain to lose someone. There is no right time, no right age, no right amount of preparation that can ever make this all right. And then, as in the horror movie, just when you think you have for sure said it all, there is this realization that there is a mountain of things you would continue to share and even more, there is a mountain of things you would like to continue to hear.
Perhaps at some point I would be thinking, there is a grandma angel watching over me. But for now, I still cannot quite get it. When I speak to my friends or my husband, I am relatively ok. But being silent brings the loss right back and feels like a hole in my chest.
This is grandma here with my cousin. Just a month or so ago my mom posted this picture on facebook to show the youngest and the oldest girl in our family, honouring grandma’s 77th birthday. I printed this picture and framed it in my living room so I can keep on looking at grandma’s eyes. For someone I knew pretty darn well, she became a complete mystery. I keep looking at her eyes trying to figure out what she would say. I could clearly hear her voice in my head and even more, I could feel what she felt like. Her skin had a particular feel that was like taking a sedative.
I don’t know. There doesn’t seem anything I could say that can make me feel good. It seems that I need to take it one day at the time and keep the memory alive. When time passes and the pain subsides just a bit, I would like to keep the stories about grandma alive so we can keep her presence with us. There isn’t anything that can replace her or make the pain of loss go away. Yet, I know that she would want us all to be happy and I will do what I can to have her wish come true. I miss her … I love her … She is forever in my heart
After spending many days with my husband in his Montreal and going through heartaches of adjusting to the new culture and language (as it’s NOT spoken on my French tapes), I have finally stood up today to tell THE WORLD who I am. And by the world, I mean children. Aren’t they the future.
Namely, I have had good and bad times being here, treated badly and kindly, almost to the extreme, but I knew, deep inside, I was letting it happen.
So, today as I was coming back from my walk, I see three young kids, probably about 11 years old, walk in front of me. One of them takes a big slushy cup of giant windex color drink and trashes it by the side of my husband’s building. For a moment, I felt the lack of power. I speak zero French and in this neighbourhood, people just speak French (98%). So I walk faster to reach the 3 boys and I tap the criminal on the shoulder. I tell him “excuse me, please go pick up your stuff”…he looks at me like I am crazy, says “don’t know, no speak”…and I say “Je ne parle pas le Francais, desole, but you are going to go with me and pick up your trash” and I hug him and walk him back to the “crime scene” and as he is fighting I keep saying “desole, pas francais” and then I let him walk to his cup thinking he may trash it right on me. But he doesn’t. He picks it up and takes it with him and I say “merci beacoup, please take it to the trash”…and he does. The boys kept laughing and making fun but they did what I asked them.
You wonder why I share this? Because for the first time in months of coming here and spending time in Montreal, Canada, I wasn’t sure I knew who I was. And today, I got myself back. I could stand for what is right, for my truth regardless of the language I speak. And I am grateful for the boy that made it easy on me.