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My Heart

Posted 08-01-2017 at 08:52 AM by gabrielle22
Updated 08-13-2017 at 04:44 AM by gabrielle22
It began when the leaves began to turn with a phone call from my mom at 3am.
When I was little I would ask to talk to my Granny on the phone every day. I'd dial the numbers carefully and she'd laugh at me breathing into the handset before we'd launch into our special language which my mother called 'gibberish.' Mom didn't understand me the way Granny did.
The call was my mom 500 miles away, angry and drunk. Through the garbel and slurs I realized that Granny had been in the hospital for a week. I was getting a call because I had to sign off on putting her in hospice and she was angry and worried that she'd waited so long to pick up the phone .

Granny had always known I would fight for her. I did for the next few months. I split my time between work, checking on her and my boy. The triangle closest to my heart.

My extended family petioned for custody of me three times during my childhood. After each major incident and many times in between I would pack my paper suitcase and stay with my Granny until things blew over.

She never made me sleep in the dark and she understood my pride demanded I didn't need a night light like a baby. We camped out in her room with the soft light from her reading lamp. I read books in my sleeping bag on the floor at the foot of her bed while she played solitaire with her illicit deck of cards that she hid from my great grandmother. Soft sounds of shuffling and her humming lulled me to sleep.

The Holidays this year were a blur. I know I got sick sometime in January. I kept fighting. Too much travel. Too hard to keep my chin up. A broken engagement. My very first ambulance ride. A-fib. Flutterbeats. My heart demanded that I stop with a short stay in ICU. Tick Tock. Not enough time.

I told no one in my family not even my son. The only person I would have called no longer knew my name. Antibiotics and several heart tests later and I was cleared.

She taught me to tinker with cars. How to cast a line and catch fish. She gave me my love of science and my first telescope. She taught me to climb trees. The fine art mowing the lawn and swearing. She wrote stories of the pioneer days with me as the heroine and silly limericks.

She gifted me with a love of travel. At Disneyland she didn't make fun of me for freaking out on the Small World ride. She agreed those little dolls were creepy. Trips to the coast where we'd fish for salmon. Day trips to meet with her brothers and sisters and my uncles.

Every scar, every bump, every weird inclination she knew them all. We could sit in comfortable silence and know what the other was thinking. She never judged me even when I did stupid things and she was always the first person I came to with my worries. She's the reason I grew to have hope and a big heart rather than what I could have been.

Her funeral arrangements were made 20 years ago. She was a planner. We have a family cemetary and I had forgotten how beautiful it was. Not manicured or stuffy but woods all around and wild strawberries at the edges of the lanes.

I was fairly calm during the service. She was finally free and out of pain and even though my chest was heavy, the words spoken were comforting.

Until it was time to go. My feet wouldn't move. My family drifted away to their cars some glancing back at me, one of my cousins stopping and coming back, while I stood there frozen. My brain stuttering the words "I can't leave her here" over and over. I didn't want to go back to a world without her.

I finally took a breath and after laying my hand on her casket I walked away without looking back.
The last time I saw her was a few days before she passed. She was sitting in her wheelchair at a table with her head in her hands. I sat next to her and she looked at me with my very same blue eyes searching for who I was. Then a small 'eh, like I care' look and putting her head back down. But I knew her.

Shuffle. The fancy shuffle she'd taught me. Shuffle. Her hand reaching out and taking the cards. The ghost of her dealing the deck into familiar forms. My heart slowing at the safety of memory.
Total Comments 21


ByronBay's Avatar
Beautiful words. You must miss her terribly. Sounds like you both had a wonderful connection. Cherish those special memories forever.
Posted 08-01-2017 at 01:52 PM by ByronBay ByronBay is offline
Apparition's Avatar
Thank you for this.
Words cannot express.
Just can't.
Posted 08-01-2017 at 03:28 PM by Apparition Apparition is offline
gdgrl's Avatar
So much love.
Posted 08-01-2017 at 05:07 PM by gdgrl gdgrl is offline
hikergeek's Avatar
Thanks for sharing. It never gets any easier to let go of someone we gave shared a lifetime with. Hope writing these words helped you deal with it a little better.
Posted 08-01-2017 at 09:06 PM by hikergeek hikergeek is offline
hijiller's Avatar
I've admired your writing for years, scarce though it has been. In this piece you show how time and your talent needed to simmer a while until the creation was perfect.

I like the way you manage time in this..the flashbacks and bits of days long gone. Thank you for a lovely read about life and love and luck.
Posted 08-01-2017 at 10:18 PM by hijiller hijiller is offline
bryan3636's Avatar
Thank you!
Posted 08-02-2017 at 01:46 AM by bryan3636 bryan3636 is offline
Stew's Avatar
Posted 08-02-2017 at 08:25 AM by Stew Stew is offline
Alpheius's Avatar
She loved you so much. Sorry for your loss, Gabs.
Posted 08-02-2017 at 08:57 AM by Alpheius Alpheius is offline
wayneypoo's Avatar
I think your granny will live on forever through your sweet kind nature you have no doubt passed on to your children .
Loss!! No a privilege to know her x
Posted 08-03-2017 at 04:51 PM by wayneypoo wayneypoo is offline
DomesticDiva's Avatar
Hugz, just simple hugs.

A very personal, loving writing. She is smiling down and watching over you still. Always know that.
Posted 08-03-2017 at 05:56 PM by DomesticDiva DomesticDiva is offline
artemis's Avatar
Beautiful writing about I'm sure a very beautiful woman. Huge hugs dearest.. She must have been one in million & look at all the amazing things she imparted to you, that's made you one fantastic being...
Posted 08-03-2017 at 11:56 PM by artemis artemis is offline
gabrielle22's Avatar
This is where I awkwardly thank everyone and back away slowly.

But truly. Thank you.
Posted 08-04-2017 at 05:01 PM by gabrielle22 gabrielle22 is offline
Wow, um, just wow. Words wouldn't do it justice, so just. -hug-
Posted 08-04-2017 at 11:57 PM by Jabbuk Jabbuk is offline
redcat's Avatar
Her influence, your words, the love - so powerful. Hugs.
Posted 08-11-2017 at 05:37 AM by redcat redcat is offline
OneFineDay's Avatar
Some things take time until discovered.
Like the words in your blog, so personal and heart warming.
Thank you for sharing, and taking us into the world of your thoughts.

Without further words, be hugged
Posted 08-13-2017 at 04:11 AM by OneFineDay OneFineDay is offline
Shawn's Avatar
This is an amazing piece Gabs
Posted 08-17-2017 at 05:40 PM by Shawn Shawn is offline
Orca08's Avatar
Wow, what a beautiful blog post. Your Grandmother was a beautiful woman. I don't know what to say.
I am sorry for your lost. I hope your Grandmother stops by often to put a hand on your shoulder and tell you everything is going to be alright, with a kiss on the forehead
Posted 08-30-2017 at 10:07 AM by Orca08 Orca08 is offline
Violetsrblue's Avatar
Right in the feels. Sheesh. bittersweet.
Posted 09-26-2017 at 04:59 PM by Violetsrblue Violetsrblue is offline
Becs1's Avatar
What beautiful words xx hugs x
Posted 05-18-2018 at 04:04 PM by Becs1 Becs1 is offline
Atrebla Rose's Avatar
Awesome Gabs
Posted 09-10-2018 at 10:04 PM by Atrebla Rose Atrebla Rose is offline
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