troubled and turbulent were the reeds
that whipped past her weathered face and hands
at a time when most should be dancing and playing with dolls
and worrying bout boys and dresses and parents
she was wading through rice fields
nimble hands
that could fix up a hand-rolled cigar
faster than most men of three times her size and ego

the love of her life eventually lost
her children, hers to raise
to grow, to love, to love, to love
to help them learn how to dream
when even their dreams escaped them at night

her tired eyes have witnessed more change than time
as she walked proudly from one century to
the next
vibrantly, with excessive strength and blinding courage
that weaved hundreds of souls together
in a colorful familial quilt of lives
intermingled sorrows, smiles, funerals, births
mixing dancing juggling she did
with our souls, our hearts, our destinies

she walked with our lives in the tiny palm of her hands

when she nodded, we would move forward
when she squinted her eyes and turned away in dismay
we followed her advice and discovered how wise
this seemingly fragile woman was
when she smiled, her light filled our hearts
when she laughed, the world was right and good and just

time stopped when she spoke

she knew more than hundreds of men with pedigrees and jets and jaguars
and she was richer than all
taller than all
more loved than the patron saints themselves combined

the matriarch
the goddess
the saint who swore and smoked and sassed
the believer in all of us, that good will prevail in our lives
despite the pain
despite the death
despite hers

she taught us how to be good, strong, free
she taught us how to love, laugh, live
she taught us how to be more than human
so that we may continue her teachings in our daily lives
so that she may live for a thousand centuries more

today we say goodbye to the body
but not to the soul
who lives forever in the fiber she has weaved together within us
and speaks softly with pride when winds blow
through reeds in rice fields to the
trees in the city
My great-grandmother passed away this morning. Just an hour after I picked up Boo from daycare because he had a fever. Just minutes after I picked up a print job and was emailing friends and clients and eating breakfast and drinking my morning coffee. It was today. How could she have left and I not known, not felt her leaving? We are that kind of family. We know. We feel. It's freaky. but today the call came and I had felt nothing. 102 she was. Boo's fever this morning was 102. He was lethargic and freaked me out but now he is fine and back to his normal self, still with fever but it's going down. His fever spiked about the time she reportedly died. Maybe he knew.

I don't know what to do right this second except write. I may not write again for a while, but then again perhaps I will write too much nonstop forever from now on since it is all that I know how to do in times like these. If I do either extreme, please forgive me. It is for me that I write and write.

Boo is singing again right now. He does that a lot these days. He sings everywhere we go. He's good at singing the tune of ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. She used to sing to me, all the time. She raised me while my parents went to work. My whole life. Filled with her song. Does she know how much - how much? Last week the doc said she probably wouldn't live to see the New Year. You proved them wrong again, Lola. You always do. Now I hope you can rest and relax and smoke cigars up in heaven. I know you missed them these last few years. We'll be just fine, because we had you.


Zachary said...

oh i am so so sorry to hear of your loss. I know how you are feeling i lost my grandmother on thanksgiving of this year. My condolences to you and your family.

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Valerie said...

I am sorry to hear about your grandmother.

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Mama Muse said...

I am so sorry for your loss. This beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. She was a lucky woman to be loved the way that you love her. Many hugs to you and your family.

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