when i sat down tonight to write about the song and how it reminds me of my grandma chromey, i didn’t intend to sit in front of the computer tears streaming down my face. i had totally forgot that today is the first anniversary of grammu’s death until i started writing. grammu is my mom’s mom– grandma st. martin, i guess. the sister club and i always called her grammu.
on saturday sister #4 and i talked about the upcoming anniversary. how sometimes it seems like it’s been years and at others we can’t believe it’s been a year already. i read through some of the entrie tonight and it made me sad. but, it was the poem that put me over the edge.
now, as the thunder roars outside and lightning flashes, i can’t stop thinking of those last moments. how i was adamant that i didn’t want to be in the room when she died. i had planned to be outside in the hallway, perhaps with my uncle kevin or something. just not in the room. i had never seen a person die in my life.
i remember how my mom and her siblings (the five of them present) shuffled out to smoke, leaving behind sister #3, grammu’s own sister club, and me. sister #3 took the chair next to the bed and held onto grammu’s hand. i listened to marion, pearl, and betty (grammu’s sisters) ramble aimlessly about something i can’t remember, paying close attention to grammu’s labored breathing counting the spaces between each breath. when i didn’t hear anything for a bit, i looked up in alarm at my great-aunt pearl and heard sister #3 gasp.
“she’s gone honey,” pearl said.
“she just let go of my hand,” sister #3 said. “she just let go.”
“it’s ok,” pearl said getting up and coming to the bed. “she’s in heaven now.”
i was up and out of my chair like a shot. i didn’t want to be in there. i walked out into the hallway and ran into my great-uncle mickey (grammu’s only brother).
“she’s gone,” is all i said and uncle mickey just shook his head.
then suddenly they were all there. my mom, barely able to walk, coming down the hall, kevin and anna materializing from somewhere, people were everywhere, and i sat on a bench outside the room, numb. sister #3 came to join me in the hall. “she just let go.”
now, it’s an entire year later. a year without a grammu and i’m stunned that i can still cry so much over missing her. as i write this i just keep thinking how she never got to meet Nolan, and she would have just loved him because she loved blue-eyed boys.
and i don’t believe in much. i don’t have the faith that she did. what i do believe is ,that you got to heaven of your own choosing. that when you die, all you do is relive the happiest moments of your life over and over and over again. and i know that she’s somewhere in time with grandpa cub and maybe, just maybe, she’s gonna find some time to cards with us again.