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Monday, December 2, 2013

Memories

Aren't memories funny? The way they creep in and take over without warning. The way the mind spins one thing in to another and suddenly you're back in time. 
I'm sitting here eating popcorn, watching a movie and I can't retrace the path that led me there but suddenly I was back to a warm summer day in my mind. One of the last days I spent with my me-ma. The kids and I (including the one in the womb she never met) came to her house and we went to eat lunch. She was so thrilled to have us there, and she forced her feeble body to go out with us. 
It made her so happy to have us there. And one of the biggest regrets of my life will always be how little time I spent with her in the end. It was completely selfish on my part, but I just hated seeing her slowly deteriorating. It hurt so much to be  reminded that she'd be gone soon. I remember having dreams about her getting old and sick when I was just a little girl - it was always one if my biggest fears. It's just hard to face your biggest fears when they come to fruition. 
It takes a while for the last pictures you see to be erased. It took a while before the "end images" quit being at the forefront. I'm such a visual person. It's like my memories are all very vivid snapshots and video clips in my mind: watching my mom hold the phone to her ear so my brother on active duty could say goodbye. The way her whole body shook as she tried so hard to answer my last words to her. The words I just couldn't really find. The words I hoped I'd said well enough my whole life to make up for whatever I said in that moment of complete grief, coupled with my inability to express myself verbally in the spur of the moment. I don't rember what I said. I just remember the hospital room, the lighting, the look of her in that bed - so small and soft. Her soft, aged skin, her fluffy soft white hair. Her body in a coffin.
For so long those were my images. Those were the pictures in my dreams. But not anymore. Now it's "the farm," my hand in hers as she walked me around telling me stories and history. Now it's her in a robe watching us open gifts on Christmas morning. The way she would hold her hands up and squeal with delight. It's her walking through a room, singing a song. It's her holding my newborn babies. It's my baby girl's mouth when she sleeps and sucks her bottom lip in just a little. 
I'm crying now because I miss her. But, she's here. She's here in the way I tuck my legs up under myself when I'm sitting down, just like she and my mom. She's here in the way she passed down her tendency to fret and worry. She's here when I tell my children stories about her. When I watch my children withy parents. When I see the cycle of life playing out slowly in front of me, yet too quickly to really get a hold of. At family reunions when my identity is summed up as: "Jerry and Mary's granddaughter." 
There's no point to this post. No profound statement at the end to tie it all up. No. It's just me, rambling on about a part of life that's wonderful and awful at the same time. It's just me, having a good cry. Remembering people I love, hoping my life will end with as few regrets as possible. Thankful for cherished memories, fearful for more "end images" I know I'll have to see. My kids will have to see. 
Glad I have peace in knowing my "end images" will all be replaced someday by eternal ones.