This should be an entry to remind myself that at 40 I should know better than to try and set between friends who are either disagreeing or don’t like each other. Especially when I don’t know what’s going on. The only thing both people could end up agreeing on is that I should mind my own business.
Why I apparently don’t know better and keep making the mistakes the got me in trouble in junior high, why I need everyone around me to get along and to love me are questions that will probably take the next 40 years to resolve.
I can’t muse on my crazy insecurities today.
Today I’m at work, working in bursts because the mindlessness of my job makes it an easy place to hide..
Today I’ve turned off my phones and am ignoring my email.
Today I’m trying to find the courage to walk into my boss’s office and tell her about the call I just got from my mom. But I can’t do it. That call which I should have been expecting has somehow ripped a hole in me.
My grandmother is dying. She’s been going by inches for the past year, but her inches are running out. At 101 her life is terrible — even the smallest acts of independence are being stripped away while her mind has stayed horribly alert and aware of every loss. Over the past year, as it’s become clear my nana can never get well, can only decline, I’ve hoped and prayed for her to pass peacefully. Dying peacefully is the right thing for me to want here and the kindest and most merciful outcome. I know this.
But I don’t want it and so maybe I haven’t really prayed for either. I’m selfish and I don’t want to let her go. At the worst moments of my life, childhood and adulthood, she’s been there for me, making me feel loved as unconditionally as it would be possible for anyone to be. Her very existence and love for me saved my life, not just once but repeatedly, including one time when I was 10 years old and she confronted my parents about their abuse of me and threatened to take me away from them.
When I was a child and she was taking care of me, I worried often that she would die. Back then, 70 seemed very old and she used to play a bit with guilt, telling me when I rolled my eyes at being told to push my bangs out of my face when I read or not to bite my nails that I wouldn’t have her to bother me much longer. One summer when I was 11, the thought of losing her made me burst into tears and in comforting me she swore she would be here with me as long as I needed her.
That’s right. She loved me me so much and was so distressed at having hurt me by her teasing she swore not to leave until I was sure I could let her go.
My nana is in Portland — more than a 1000 miles away from me. Her weight down to 65 pounds. She has cancer that’s spread throughout her body and for which there is no treatment. Her younger sister and older brother are both dead now. Last summer my grandfather, her husband of 70 years, died and left her alone to mourn him. My mom told me today Nana can’t hold down food or water.
She has always been safety and home to me and soon I have to travel north to say goodbye. Somehow very soon I have to let her know it’s okay for her to go, that I’ll be fine.
But I don’t believe it. And selfishly, in my heart, I don’t want her to leave me.