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Grandma’s here, and it’s good. There’s a certain feeling when your mom holds your child for the first time. You can feel the love.
So on Friday afternoon I took the kid to the place they’re staying – it’s a block away – and let her play with the baby for a while. And little K did such a great job turning on the charm for Grandma. It made me so proud. And when Grandma started laughing, and smiling, and singing, it made me so happy for her.
And then, so so sad. Unbelievably sad. Amazingly sad. I cried instantly, and I guess it looked like tears of joy. But they weren’t. It’s so obvious that I didn’t expect it coming: I wanted this for Malina. I wanted her to get this much love and attention, I wanted her to be adored… cherished, all those things Grandmas do.
But instead, she died. No love for her. She is avoided in conversation, or her name is misspelled in letters… letters written by Grandma. I wanted that little girl to live and I wanted her to be loved. Now, she is loved and missed by Melka and me, and that’s about all. I KNOW this already. So why do I have to keep re-learning it?
I came home and sobbed, and Melka sobbed when she saw me crying. She knew why.
It’s been good to catch up with my mom. I like my mom, she’s a wonderful woman. Very astute, both intellectually and emotionally. And often, graceful. Unlike how I ram a mention of Malina into nearly every third conversation. But it’s like strings connect everything in my life right now back to her… and talking openly with someone about where we live and what we’re doing is bound to pull out her name.
I told Melka it’s like this: I’m running with a pack of people (which I don’t think I’ve done in two decades) and all of a sudden I’m breaking away, on my own, leaving them behind. I’m faster, and a little heady with the rush of not following anymore. And then I realized I’ve just missed a turn, and the group is off without me. So I have to re-route into a big curve, and meet back up with everyone else.
That is what talking about grief is like. I leave the space capsule, I float alone in the vacuum among the stars, and then I pull myself back into the ship and everyone looks at me like I’ve just been to outer space.
Here on our part of the earth’s crust, little K has been putting us through her paces. Melka has, of course, borne the brunt of it:
- screaming for hours while I’m at work
- constant demand for meals
- b. infection (and a temp of 39.4C – 103F), excruciating pain, shakes and sweats
- followed by antibiotics, which kill all the good bacteria,
- which leads to the opposite, th. rush, the “base” to a b. infection’s “acid”
- feat. it’s own version of excruciating b. pain, and constant “regular” pain
- then medicinal purple stuff that will stain anything, even your soul
- and, through it all, perpetual meals (every two-three hours, often more often)
This, however, is what we signed up for.
Nearby on this earth’s crust, somewhere in the thick city we call our temp home in the lowlands, of course, it’s a very different world. We anxiously awaited the news from Mirne and Craig… we even exchanged a text or two. We had imagined to meet each other in non-computer land, babies in tow, identifying for once with parents with whom we shared something awful. The news of the death of Jet hit us.