sitting here in the hospital with my dad, we’re visiting my grandmother’s last surviving sister. she’s not expected to make it per the doctors. basically, this was goodbye. i never know what i’m going to feel in any given situation. my emotions or lack thereof are always a surprise to me. i went for him, to be supportive, to let him know his feelings matter to me. erica and i were never close, she was so different from my grandmother, her older sister. cool, non-communicative and very reserved, i don’t remember seeing her smile more than once or twice during my childhood.
it was extremely cathartic to sit there with erica, so emotionally present for my dad and my grandmother by proxy. i wasn’t there to say farewell to my grandmother. sandwiched between my dad who will be turning 70 and his declining tia, i couldn’t help but feel a sincere appreciation for every vibrant memory. i could see the faded auburn of her hair as she stood in the doorway to her kitchen on the fifth floor of the tenement where they (my grandmother, erica and their mom) lived.
yea the fifth floor, no elevator, good times… (wry smile)
i could see the hasidic jewish children playing jacks outside of their apt doors (on the first three floors, and the puerto ricans had the top two) looking up in curiosity as we slowly climbed the stairs. i could smell the latkes’ being fried. i too was curious, i wanted to ask questions, know why they just wore dresses and why the boys had curls hanging on the sides of their faces?
when i look at my dad, I see a latin lookin jesus hippie, with bell bottoms and a beard.
just kept looking at her, sending her waves of love and compassion for her crossing, i was looking for her, erica in that tired, worn out body. i caught a few glimpses of her and as i focused it ‘felt’ to me that she wasn’t really there, more of in a transitional womb like level, her consciousness still aware but not suffering. i felt as though she was watching, with interest and curiosity. my intuition told me that no one had to lean toward her ear to talk to her anymore, she was expanding beyond the confines of her earthly vehicle. i know death is but a doorway to home, a mystical magical place where pain is not a precursor to change and where we decide how we want to be of service on different planes.
those sisters (five I think) are going to tear up the afterlife.
i can feel my grandmother smiling. not sure where this level of surrendering is taking me next but what i do for sure is that i am picking love over and over again.
no regrets, i’m telling everyone how I feel about them. now. not sitting in front of a tombstone with a fist clenched around withered flowers.