Friday, March 04, 2011


{Lincoln center: last night}

Growing up, every weekend, we visited my grandparents' house. A lot of times we would come there in the afternoon and my grandmother, "Gaga" would be taking a rest in her bedroom. That's the first place I would go. I was always given warnings, like: "don't bother Gaga, she's resting", but I would go in there to see her anyway.
What I liked to do was lay beside her and snuggle up to her. I can still remember the way she felt and smelled. Good memories. I would always say, "Gaga, are you sleeping?" and she would say, "no honey, I'm just resting my eyes." This gave me the permission I needed to stay in there while she "rested her eyes." It gave me the assurance that I wasn't bothering her, but that she wanted me there, cuddled up next to her, as she rested.

Last night my husband took me to the Lincoln Center in New York City for a symphony concert. It's something you should try to do if ever given the opportunity. What do you do during a symphony? Watch the instruments magically play together in time? Watch the conductor's moves? Check out the "scene"? Close your eyes and "feel" the music? Sleep?
I chose to close my eyes and snuggle up to my husband. I took in his warm arm, his smell, his breath moving in and out, the feel of his wool jacket on my cheek. I gave thanks for all the wonderful things about life with him.

When my grandmother was in the nursing home in the last weeks of her life, I visited her. I cried at the sight of her: sunken cheeks, mouth drawn, eyes lost their sparkle, skinny body. She lay there and greeted me with her warm, big, smile, always ready to greet a guest. "It's a wild ride, ain't it?" she said. An odd comment coming from her, but I agreed with her, and chalked it up to her state of mind. I crawled up on her bed and snuggled up beside her like I had done so many times before. It was really amazing how it was just as I had remembered it: the way her body felt, her smell, her breathing...everything. I'm so glad I did that.

I went to see her at the mortuary where she lay in the casket. I touched her hand, but it was cold and hard, but she looked the same. "I love you, Gaga." I said. But the life was not there, and I yearned for one more time to lay with her and smell her and feel her.


#58 ears to hear music
#59 husband's arm to lean on
#60 the calm predictability of his breathing
#61 his familiar smell
#62 a warm hand to hold
#63 emotional response to music
#64 the feeling of security my husband gives me
#65 walking in heels in New York City
#66 back pain this morning! (proof my muscles work!)
#67 memories made just my husband and I
#68 the gift of Life.


Aimee said...

I am pretty hormonal this morning...this had me all teary!! yes, life. every morning i have been thanking the Lord for the gift of breath. what a beautiful evening with your hubby...thanks for sharing it with us!!

Sheila said...

I love your memories of your grandma! So sweet.

Natalie said...

A beautiful tribute... to GaGa, to your soul mate and to your God!

Anonymous said...

This makes me want / need to go and visit my own dear grandmother before it is too late.

debbie bailey said...

I miss my grandma so much. Heaven is just that much sweeter with her in it.

laurel said...

I second Aimee's words exactly!

tonia said...

mmhmm...yes! very beautiful.