It’s been since August, and for that I’m ashamed. Funny how we keep those things sacred to us in the periphery–we think about them daily, but for whatever reason, can’t get to. Like this blog. Like very ill grandmothers.
I’m trying to remember the last time I saw my grandmother–5 years ago? Six? All I know is that I said goodbye to her 8 years ago after my Gram died. I went by myself, for selfish reasons. You see, my Gram and Grandma were great friends–somewhat of a rarity, so I’m told. When I called my grandma the week after my gram died, she told me how sorry she was to hear of the passing of a great woman like Vicki. My mom. That was August. That’s when I noticed. She wouldn’t forget my Gram.
In December, I took a day off work to see her. I flew to San Diego for just for the day, and rented a car. Hoping that seeing her would feel closure for my gram. Dementia is horrible. It replaces the one you love and have fond memories of with a complete stranger. There had been warning signs, but I had always had my parents as buffers. I won’t go into unpleasantries, but I had to take an unexpected day off to recuperate.it was rough.
Fast forward to a week ago. It’s getting closer, my grandma’s departure–93, outliving every friend and family member except the generations left behind. I hoped it would be fast. This woman who took me to my first musical. And second. The woman who was so different from my gram, who loved the arts almost as much as her friends and family. The grandma who traveled to Russia. And Romania, and France, and Norway after my grandfather died. She was the quirky one. The one who got why I sat crying at the revival of Showboat in New York City, when she took me for my graduation of a week-long theater tour to the Big Apple. I wish today I could remember what she said to me when Michel Bell sang the hell out of Old Man River and I cried. I think it was just her smile and an eyebrow saying, “told you”.
She said goodbye to this world today. All I know is that I loved her, even despite the lack of cards and calls on my end. It confused her. But what I remember is music. Billy Joel and Bing Martin and Neil Diamond. Her love for Cheers. And Vanity fair (the magazine), all things San Francisco, her Irish granddaughter, and the list goes on.
i personally darken the lights on Broadway for you tonight, Grandma D. For you are the one who helped me love the sound of music in so many ways. I love you, and I’m so glad you’re at home now. Jackson Brown says it best tonight. Let the music keep our spirits high. It’s how she would want it.
Sneaky Feelings–Elvis Costello
Flyin’ Shoes–Lyle Lovett
Before the Deluge–Jackson Brown
Rock me Gently–SuperHeavy
That’s the Sound of Sunshine–Michael Franti
At the Zoo–Simon and Garfunkel