I love this moment today, laughing, deeply, brightly. Sun touched, breezey song of trees and birds and your life lived hand squeezing mine.
“Where’s my mom?” you had asked, “In Heaven,” your daughter and I replied, and tears filled your eyes. I ached at what was a new hurt for you again and a reminder to you and us of memories forgotten. I took your hand in mine and you held my fingers and looked at me through the eyes of all we are, “She is so very proud, though,” I told you “of the life you’ve lived, of the children you’ve raised and your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” And there was suddenly a clearness over you, “It’s really amazing all these people are connected to me” “Yes, it is Grandma” And you smiled, “And we’re going to have a new baby.” “Yes, yes we are,” I say smiling too, you beaming at the thought of the new baby and that you’ve remembered. “Yes there’s going to be a new baby.”
So we talked for a moment of a baby coming soon to my cousin Matt and his wife Paige, of your youngest daughter Nancy becoming a Grandma.
We talked about foods and flowers, and your sneakers and pink socks bought in the same store.
Your legs have relaxed, settled down, feet resting, and there’s a peace about you. I feel the trees in the courtyard speaking to me in my veins of the generations that have sat here near the blossoming branches. Branches wound together as our fingers on your lap.
I feel happy. I feel sad. I feel grateful. I feel how old and young this moment makes me. We take a picture so you can see us, beauties in the sun. I say something silly, that I don’t even recall, for it is you laughing that I hear, when I see that moment. You always like how you can see the picture right away. But this time you don’t say anything when you see it. You smile, nod and squeeze my hand. I am you half a century ago.
I am brought back through the years to a broken down train and walking the tracks with you into Port Jervis, where we sat on a curb near the old railroad station and ate snacks waiting for my mother to come and pick us up. I am brought back to your porch and pie and puzzles in the summer when I visited overnight. I can feel the resolve in which you placed yourself in the face of my hurts when my path was hard. Tradition was not stronger than love.
I know all of that and more is in you, your love for the many people connected to you. I will sing it in my prayers that it may find you in your sleep.
A new baby will come and he too will be a piece of your legacy. He will laugh, as you did, at something silly.
I love you, Grandma.