The Sweet In Between

{Just one last post on my grandma Jeannie. Promise to pick up the pace and lighten the mood asap. For now, here's what I wrote on the plane to OKC.}

It began the moment my dad carried his heavy face to my house, pulled out that daiphragam-deep voice from his heart and shakily, with a heavy nervousness, said that our precious Jeannie suffered a swift, massive stroke--a stroke like a bolt of lightning, like a freight train.

She was gone, vented, on a morphine drip, sweet body breathing by machine. I screamed. Then we held each other, held ourselves in check, cried, cleaned ourselves up, and walked to the Cathedral Basilica downtown. We walked straight down the center aisle, crossed ourselves in the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost, turned to the right, made our donations, lit two two healing novenas, and knelt in front of the Virgin Mary. Daddy did his Hail Marys, his Catholic recitations. I did my own prayers for her freedom, for her peace, her joy, her release.

Tears abundant. Tears already a thousand falling.

We took a trip to the sweet comforts of Plaza Verde, a French atelier next door to the Cathedral. French perfume, cologne, lotions, soaps. Shaving creams, shaving supplies, silver razors, chess sets, fine old knives, sweet smelling soaps, French linens and tablecloths, Japanese teas and incense, heavy pens of glass, and India ink. A respite of beauty, of pushing at bay, away, the idea of our adored Jeannie vented, spirit flown, on a morphine drip in an Oklahoma City hospital bed.

Precious body there, good sweet spirit flown fast and high and gone--the silver chord cut, severed, and that pure good soul free, gone--filling up her best beloveds on this earth, meeting her sweetheart once again, her sister Martha, her brother Jim, her Daddy, her Mom.

I pray now for her peace, for her freedom, for her joy--to send her with love, no self-pity, no regrets--into her heaven, for that is surely where she shall be--here, unseen, the same as she ever was--out of sight, right around the corner, filling my body body and my cells with a love unlike anything my earth-bound mind can fathom.
Nothing has changed. Everything has changed.

The sweet in between, the quiet escape of that gloomy Sunday when we got the news--where we filled the day up with distraction--French food, French perfume, a cocoon of television, the warmth of lamplight and disbelief, the hope for a miracle of her return.

All that will have to wait for a later date.

The sweet in between time of disbelief is fading. Soon this plane will land in Oklahoma City, where I will not find you waiting. Soon the viewing. Soon the wake. Soon the funeral mass. Soon the burial. Soon, the sweet in between time will end.

And all of your brood will gather--shuffling, unbelieving, shocked, shattered, our moorings lost at sea. And you will hold us inside and out, with the light of a thousand suns, filling us, carrying us, laughing in our ears, your wonderful voice in our minds now, in our dreams now--always, always, always--but especially when we, as your Joseph Michael said, when we need you most.
And we will always, till after our bones are long since turned to ash--need you.
May you laugh. May your sweet Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and God himself hold you and your sweetheart ever in the palm of his hand. I'll leave the rest up to you. I think you'll do just fine--with that wink and smile all of heaven will be as in love with you as PJ--but he's the one who'll get to hold you all through eternity's long nights, and give you sweet kisses under the stars, and gaze adoringly at you on the rolling green hills, amid the breezes sweet like jasmine, beside a crystal blue lake glimmering and shining. On and on and on.

{All Images Found on We Heart It, Save The First Two, Which I Took on My Phone.}


Aya said…
What a beautiful piece, Ama. I am in love with your writing, that's why your comment means the world to me, coming from such the beautiful person you are.

My grandma too was my most favourite person in the world, and she still is. I still remember the day she passed away, she called us because she wasn't feeling well, I picked up. I still remember the pain in her voice. Dad went over, but she was already giving in.

Uptil this moment whenever I feel lonely or out of place, I reminisce about the days when I used to sleepover at her place. The early mornings we spent together, her balcony overlooking that big beautiful tree blossoming with red roses. The unbelievably giving person she was. I just know that had she been alive still, I would have sufficed at spending every minute with her not having to worry about anything else in the world.

I hope they're both resting in peace.


Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Aya. And you're writing is beautiful and a joy to read...I am so glad to hear stories of love and comfort about your grandma. It is so soothing to know that I'm not the only one in the world who loved my grandmothers with abandon, and, too, felt I could be with either of them for the rest of my life and want for nothing else. So glad we've found each other, Aya! x Ama
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