There is a roller coaster in my emotional calendar right now. I have put the safety bar across my lap and I am ready for it. The highs, the lows, the in between loopty loops, the unexpected lurches and the exhilarating surprises. It’s life, it’s death, it’s remembrance.
October 4: My Grandfather’s birthday
October 6: W’s half birthday
October 7: day my Millie passed away
If my Grandfather was still alive today he would have been celebrating his 95th birthday. We said goodbye to him ten years ago and the missing of him has never faded. I find myself wishing I could talk to him about W daily. I wish W could know the special sort of magic that my Grandfather was.
I am thankful to see my mother bring some of this kind of magic into her role as sole grandparent. Just this morning she twinkled at W, “Don’t forget! We are going to go build stuff and look at a fire truck in the morning!” And W exploded into yays.
W has been counting down to his 1/2 birthday since forever. It’s one of the cutest things ever. When we went to the dentist earlier this week and the dentist marveled at me, “I just can’t believe he is only four!” W piped up, “Actually I am almost 4 and a HALF!” I want to make the day special, not because he expects it, but because I can. Cake, a movie date, and perhaps a small gift may happen.
When I feel this overwhelming need to gush at W on something like a 1/2 birthday sometimes I pause and wonder: is this because he is my only child? Is this because this is the only time this family will ever see 4 and a 1/2? You know what? Maybe. And so what. We are a tiny family of three: one grandparent, one parent, and one child. Sometimes we just need to make a little noise.
Millie passed away in the early morning of October 7th. My Mother was with her, holding her hand, talking to her, loving her. I still feel Millie with us daily.
Sometimes I see her in unexpected places like W’s toes. I spent nearly 7 years trimming Millie’s toenails. We had a sweet ritual and I tried to make it like a “spa moment” with lotion. A few weeks ago, as I was trimming W’s toenails I had this weird moment of déjà vu. I looked down and it hit me: W has the exact same toenail shape that Millie did. So I started putting lotion on W’s feet.
So here we are, with all these dates joined together like beads on a silver necklace. I will hold on to the beads as the rollercoaster goes up and carries me through.