Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about what heaven is like in the most childlike ways possible.

I will think of happy, healthy children bounding around on white clouds like fluffy trampolines, surrounded by chubby Care Bears and plump yellow stars with comically smiley faces.

I will think of rolling green fields with patches of bright wildflowers and a scattering of dense trees in tightly bound groups, perfect for the picnicking people under their canopies. Quilts laid out and big wicker baskets filled with juice boxes and nicely wrapped peanut butter and jelly, crackers and cheese, celery with cream cheese. Couples with children playing charades and giggling, people on their own stretched out with a book in their laps, couples holding hands and talking about in depth and coupley type things, secret things I can't hear.

Sometimes giant crocodile tears form in my eyes and fall like much heavier masses on to my cheeks, running down my neck like rivulets. Selfishly the heaven I most covet is the one where my grandma is making me scrambled eggs at the stove and she's telling me about something random and inconsequential and I'm sipping my coffee milk and my cheeks are rosey because of how very warm her house is. I slip my fuzzy slippers, fuzzy slippers I keep at her house next to her purple satin bed, off my tiny feet and stretch out my toes to admire the red paint she painted my nails with the night before. She puts my eggs on a plate, gives me rye toast with blackberry jam and slices a tiny sliver of butter and lays it on top of the fluffy yellow eggs before she peppers it to death and then puts the plate in front of me.

She'll sit across from me and just drink her coffee, just a little bit of milk in it, just like I drink it right now and she just stares at me and watches me eat.

"Is that good Magoo? Is that just the way you like it?" She smiles and reaches across the little round oak table to squeeze my chubby little hand in her thin wrinkly one.

Then the daydream is broken with a lurching and nauseating halt because that thin wrinkly hand is burnt along with her thin wrinkly body into a million billion tiny pieces of dust, part of which sits in my Momma's front living room.

I watched that hand being funneled with IV's so many times during so many transfusions, the very thing that kept her alive and in my world.

When she decided that she didn't want those tranfusions anymore that thin wrinkled hand became even more thin and wrinkled, wizened and weak and I held it so tight even in the very end when she was gone from me.

I'm afraid heaven will really be my Grandmother welcoming me into her celestial kitchen and then smacking my butt super hard for being such a baby these last 8 months since she died. She'd be mad that I was such a turd while she was in hospice, how I shut down and how instead of helping her pass through this life to the next I yelled and cried and was mad and begged her to stay with me, to change her mind.

I am ashamed at the way I acted, ashamed that I sat at her bedside and pleaded for her to change her mind. I even tried to bribe her with a nice warm bath at home, she so wanted to take a bath at the end when her mind was dying and her body was dying.

Hopefully the real heaven is my Grandma will have seen and known all these things and she'll take me into her arms, pinch me lightly and say, "I've missed you so much my sweet baby girl. I'm not mad at you. Now let's get you something to eat!"


Elisabeth said...

People deal wit their grief in so many different ways, Erin. I suspect your grandmother would understand that.

Logical Libby said...

She totally will.

Lance said...

This is an honest way to look at your grief and what your grandmother meant to you. Don't feel ashamed. Feel good, comforted that memory sits with you so many months later.

diane said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing this Erin, and trusting us. I too have some regrets with loved ones passed. It's o.k., really.
Your description was powerful, and really detailed. It takes a special person to express themselves that way. Whatever is inside you, that made you share like this, I'm sure your grandmother saw that too.