I know that I usually write about my writing, but I'm going to break from the norm based on a very vivid dream that I had last night. I had a very close relationship with my grandparents (mother's parents). When we were sick, Grandma would drive out and spend the day with us so that mom could still go to work. If we were spending the night at grandma and grandpa's house, grandma always bought us the cereal that mom never would (Cookie Crisp!), had our favorite ice cream, made us peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with Lay's potato chips for lunch after we spent the day swimming in their pool...after college, I would spend weekends with them that would culminate in Sunday football at the Q (NFL Charger games). Grandma was a HUGE Charger fan. In fact, every significant event isn't on a calendar, it is told by seasons. Grandma was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during the 1995 season. She had her first chemo treatment the morning of the playoff game against the Colts and had Grandpa drive her straight to the stadium. The woman would schedule their cruises around away games and if they didn't have a tv on the ship that was able to get the game, she either didn't book it or gave the tickets away (as my aunt found out when she was the lucky beneficiary one season). She lived and breathed Chargers football. We still joke that she would be alive in hospice to this day if mom hadn't whispered in her ear that we had fired Kevin Gilbride (grandma couldn't stand that man and his moustache, which she said on numerous occassions she had a mind to just rip right off his face...maybe the pain would bring some coaching sense into him). After receiving word that Gilbride was gone, Grandma finally let go. I should mention that she went into what they call the "death rattle" and we were informed that this only last 24 hours. No human lasts past that once this starts. Well, the doctor told us this IN the room with grandma. She lived for a full week with that just to prove him wrong. Even in death, she had moxie. I suspect if there is a god, she was battling him too because she wasn't quite ready to go. As you can see, grandma made a big impression on me. Though I was luckier than most of my friends to have my grandparents alive and close growing up, I still felt cheated when we lost her. I wanted MORE time. Just like she did.
Which leads me to today. I dream about my grandma often. Probably at least twice a month, sometimes more. In my dreams, she is still dead but she is with us. Like God gave her a visitors pass and she gets to come down to be with her family. In fact, in the dreams, it always comes out that she only has "this" amount of time before she has to "go back". I wish it were really like that. Do you ever wonder what you would do if you had a door that you could step through that would take you back to one day in your life? You could just open the door, step through and there you would be for twelve hours or so. Where would you go? I would go back to spend the day with Grandma - whether we were at a football game hearing her scream "Ah, shit!" (that was the only time we heard grandma cuss so it made it extremely funny for an 8 year old), in front of the tv watching a soap opera while fixing grandpa's fresh green beans (SNAP!) for dinner or laying on her bed towards the end listening to her memories of her childhood while the ocean breeze gently moved the windchimes outside - I would choose days with my Grandma. I guess that hurt has just never, ever healed. Sometimes it's almost a physical ache. After a decade, you'd expect it to have lessened. Maybe the dreams don't let it. But I wouldn't give them up for anything.
She gave birth to three daughters. I was the first born grandchild on my mother's side...another girl. As Grandma would tell, it was very anti-climatic. But then five boys would follow (my younger brother and four more grandsons). Suddenly, I was special again. Grandma called me her "O & O", her one and only. Here is a picture of me with all the boys (and my husband) on my wedding day. Such a tight knit group thanks to my Grandma. We all miss her very much.
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