heard, still

September 22, 2022

On September 22, 2021, my GramBea had a joyous reunion with her sisters, PaCharley, and the multitude of hosts also there, waiting to welcome Busy Bea (or perhaps more likely attempt to keep up with her as she dashed about, on to the next, heavenly project).
I like to think she thinks of me each day, as I do of her. I like to think she’s proud of me . . . but, on second thought, I know she is. As much as this life often hurls messages of “not good enough,” I never had to question that with her. GramBea’s voice rang loud and clear:
“You can do anything! . . . “You’re so smart!” . . . “How in the world did you know how to do that!?!”
But, of course, if in fact I have ever been able to do, be, or learn, anything remotely noteworthy, chances are pretty stinkin’ high that she had something to do with it :-)

So today, in recognition of that day one year ago, I re-post what I wrote about her back in the early days of lockdown, when we were reeling from regulations that kept her isolated in the assisted living facility she had moved into just months before the pandemic began.

Recognizing her present reality makes my thoughts at that time seem fitting today:


This morning my 93-year-old grandma got to sing happy birthday through her computer screen, to my 6-year-old nephews. They showed off their handsome faces, dressed to the nines in their button-down shirts and bowties. She smiled and waved and “wowed” their antics. From across the ocean, now face to face. Technology is amazing.
This afternoon my grandmother’s brother-in-law died. It was a peaceful passing, and I am grateful for the daughter who cared for him in the home for those final days.
I want to say that all is well. My husband and I have all we need in our home; and we have work and homestead routines to occupy us. There is much that is right.
And yet.
All is not right. I want my grandmother to be with her sister right now. When my grandfather died, I watched them comfort each other. At one point in the family funeral gatherings, I saw them together on the master bed, arms draped over each other, able to sleep peacefully in the quiet company unique to sisters. GramBea’s world had fallen apart but, for a little while at least, all was well . . .
I wish we could have spoken in person to relay the news of this passing. But we could not.
I want to be able to hold GramBea’s hand right now. But I cannot.
I can handle that.
At the moment, however, I am battling the frustration of knowing that the sisters cannot be together. I have no answers for this madness of a world we live in right now. I do the best I can to keep informed and up-to-date; yet at times it seems as if the more I learn the more ignorant I feel, overwhelmed by the rate at which things are changing and by the swirl of new, and often conflicting, information.
In my little sphere of life, though, I know one thing right here, right now: things are not as they should be.
Would that I could wave my magic wand, bringing the two sisters together for solace in the grief.
This afternoon I see a missed call when I come in from milking the goat. I call her back immediately, worrying . . .
She sounds ok. We talk about the birthday party this morning. She says she is ok. We chat a few moments longer and the conversation lulls. “I love you,” she says. “GramBea . . .” I pause. I don’t know what to say. I’ve never been good at verbalizing emotions regardless—especially not with family. What comes out of my mouth is cringe-worthy at best. Something along the lines of, “You’re in my heart.” I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, never mind why I say it.
But she hears me.


One Response to “heard, still”

  1. Kathy Collard MIller said

    Your post about your grandma inspires me to be that kind of grandma. Thank you.

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