Sunday, May 08, 2011

Still Miss You

I miss you. I keep waiting for the sharp, breath-stealing need to see you to fade, but it feels just as strong today as it did the day you left this Earth. I still get halfway through your number before I remember you aren't there to answer it. The thought of you still makes me cry and smile at the same time.

You weren't perfect and sometimes loving you was hard. But I'd sell my soul for just one minute of that hard time. You taught us that family isn't always who you're related to. That it can be those people you love enough to gather around you & hold close. You taught us to love deep and long.

You never tired of hearing every single detail of my day, even if it meant I'd talk for hours. You always tried to teach me how to be a lady and never got mad when I just couldn't manage it. You never hesitated to say "I love you" or to hug us even when moving your arms was agony for you.

You taught me to be quietly strong like steel cloaked in silk, but that it was okay to be loud when it was needed. And sometimes when it wasn't. You told me to be me no matter what anyone thought, including you. You encouraged me to use my imagination and listened patiently as I made up story after story instead of you reading to me at bedtime.

Sometimes you were harsh with Mommy and that bothered me, but I just kept reminding her and myself that it was because you loved her so very much. As the strokes became more frequent, your love for her became evident as you clung to her. Taking care of you those last seven months nearly killed both of us, but neither of us would trade one single moment. I can't speak for Mommy, but I know that I would do it all over again.

I've posted these poems before, but nothing has changed. You're still gone and I still miss you. Some people say that I should just get over it and move on. After all, it has been seventeen years. Just typing that makes my heart ache. I'm pretty sure I'm going to miss you every single day until I see you again. God willing, that won't be very soon. I love you, Grammy. Keep saving that seat next to you for me and I'll be there when I'm done down here.


seventeen minutes

a sound draws my attention
as i move towards it
i realize its a laugh
then i recognize it
and my heartbeat quickens
i turn the corner
to find her sitting
in her favorite chair
“grammy!” i cry
and throw myself
into her loving arms
“i’ve been waiting for you, baby”
she says with that smile i miss
i feel my chest tighten
a sound behind me
makes me turn
when i look back
she is gone again
then i wake up
and for just a moment
she is still alive
if i hurry to the phone
she’ll answer when i call
dazed, i walk into the kitchen
my sister asks what’s wrong
then holds me as i cry
listening as i tell her
my dream turned nightmare
and i wonder
will it ever stop hurting
will i ever stop missing her
is she watching me now
is she proud
does she know
that i loved her so much
my heart is still breaking
even though she’s been gone
for six years
one month
sixteen days
eleven hours
and seventeen minutes




i saw a woman the other day
with her hair colour
you know the one that
miss clairol makes
and i had this urge to
colour my hair that shade
so she would be with me
each and every day
but my eyes are all wrong
hers were brown
and mine are gray
i guess the hair colour
doesn’t really matter
besides a million things
every day
make me think of her
the smell of coffee brewing
the sound of christmas carols
the taste of peanut butter
the feel of her blue blanket
the last thing she ever touched
before she died
except for me
i just wish she had known me
those last months
i waited every day
for some sort of spark
or that light in her eyes
she always had for me
or the way she had
of calling me ‘baby’
that never bothered me
even though i hadn’t been one
for far too many years
but up until her last moment
i was a stranger
i would cry in the kitchen
so she couldn’t see
and worry
i only smiled in front of her
as i put her medicines
through her feeding tube
changed her sheets
bathed her tired body
rubbed lotion on her fragile skin
and brushed her gray hair
that was once that colour
you know the one that
miss clairol makes


1 comment:

betty opal said...

You know how deeply I identify, and how sorry I am for your loss. I love you.