“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Monday, February 1, 2016

Groundhog Day

I would just like to whisper a small thought out into the cold winter night.

You are not forgotten.

There are times I still look for you. I think you might just be in the kitchen, or in the next room, or getting ready back in your bedroom while everybody waits. It would be OK with me now to wait just one more time.

I see a gigantic car in the road, a real whale, that cruises smoothly along at a whopping thirty-five miles per hour and isn't going to move any faster, not even for fire or blood, and I think of you. I think of how we kids groaned in the back seat because we were never going to get where we wanted to go with you driving. I can smell the inside of your car: leather and fruit, because you kept ten thousand oranges and bananas in the garage. You let Pauly and Janie climb in and out of the windows like they did on Dukes of Hazzard, but not me. You took me by the hand and said, "They're just crazy and going to get hurt!"

I opened your cupboard about ten months ago and I saw your sugar bowl. If anyone had said, "What does Grandma's sugar bowl look like?" I would have laughed. "How should I know?" I would have said. But when I saw it there, tucked neatly in with the dishes, my heart stopped for a moment because I could hear your voice again. "Just put this on the table, Lovey, and then come back and help me."

When it's a bad day, a really bad day, I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I remember your arms around me. Not like at the end, where you were a feather and I was a gust of wind and it made me afraid. No. Instead I think of the real you. The one who could bench-press a train and once lifted me up in the Statler ballroom and polka-ed me around the dance floor, laughing the whole way. Your hugs made the world stop. They held me in place. They said, "You are all I care about in this moment." You were so strong. I know that.

When I look into my son's green eyes, I have to close mine for a second. So much of you is still here. It's still your world, and it amazes me that it keeps on turning and we have to live in it without you. 

When I look down at my hand and see your ring, which fits perfectly, I imagine the day you first wore it. The way you laughed your laugh and placed your hand over your heart, and it caught the church lights and sparkled and you said, "Some day maybe you'll have one just like it."

It's a big world, with big problems, all the time every day. And they matter. To a lot of different people, all kinds of things matter. Probably much bigger than a girl and her grandma. But you still matter to me, and I thank you for being that sort of person. The sort worth remembering and missing. We all love you.