My sister just called.
She said Gromom passed away.
I feel....so...empty. Mostly, I feel sick, as though the apple cider I had a few hours ago might make a reappearance. Not sad. Certainly not happy. Just....
So maybe I should call someone. Someone who knows her and would be interested to know that...well, to be updated on the events of the evening. That would be productive, I suppose. In fact, I have my second cousin's phone number and address sitting here on the desk right in front of me. The last time we spoke, my cousin told me how my grandmother had been like a second mother to her. But, it is late. I don't even know how she died. Or when.
We were away for the weekend, and this blog entry is supposed to be about tailgating at Penn State. It is supposed to be witty, yet insightful. I was going to mention how I wish I had spent more of my time in college enjoying life, as I do now. But in an amusing way. Now, I wonder why I hadn't even thought about Gromom. She was where she always was, just a phone call away, watching movies for all hours of the day.
For once, I had figured out what to buy her for Christmas because one of the last times we talked she had told me how she enjoyed watching music DVD's, and they were actually cool ones - Eric Clapton, and a George Harrison Tribute one. I planned to add to her collection, and perhaps watch a few with her. I was thinking Neil Young. I think she'd like him. Goodness. My tense is all screwed up. I am confusing past and present. They are melding into one, and I am realizing that it is all past. No more present tense.
She already bought me my Christmas present. She told me about it the last time we talked. It was just two weeks ago, actually. She told me I probably wouldn't like it. But she knew I would. I haven't seen it, but I know that it is pottery, made by Lester Brienninger. She has been buying me this pottery for years. As I sit typing at a desk she gave me, I look up and see a Christmas tree by the potter. It is not too "Christmas-y" and I like to keep it out all year. It is dated 2000. I am pretty sure she has been buying these things for me for longer.
Almost every conversation with Gromom has been about her death. She was not afraid of dying. I would say that this made most people uncomfortable, but not so much with me. Her words were usually negative, and she would often be heard to remark, "I'm so sick of livin'." Most people would tell her not to talk like that, but I never did. If I allowed her to talk a bit longer, she would explain that what she meant was that she had a good life. She had done all she wanted to do.
I am feeling better in the stomach now. I've had a bit of water, to get the taste of apple cider out of my mouth. I am having trouble seeing the screen though. Tears.
I am still not exactly sad. Words are so inadequate.
This entry is getting long. Should I call it "Sad, Part I" and begin anew with "Sad, Part II"? I cannot. I write this blog for myself. I try to make it amusing to others, and I love to hear that people enjoy it. But, of course, that praise is for me. I always wanted to be a writer, but I was afraid to reveal myself, and have people read my work, criticize it. That last sentence? Not really grammatically correct, was it? Guess what? I'm ok with that. There is no right answer in writing. My engineer-brain worries about the right answer, and my writer-brain worries about the right words. Sometimes, words must bend to my liking, for they do not express my grief. Or whatever I am feeling. My angst? Bah. Words.
My earliest memories are of Gromom. My sister and I spent countless hours at her house. We played "Red Light Green Light" which basically meant she walked, and we ran ahead as she yelled out Green Light, then skidded to a halt when Red Light was called. We did Yellow Light too, walking in slow motion like Frankenstein. We colored. Gromom did not hand us coloring books and begin making dinner. She colored too. She always picked the weird colors for Holly Hobby's dress, like avocado green and brown. Very drab in our opinions, but she was very good at staying in the lines. We played her favorite game, Sorry. It is a pretty fun game - I played it with her almost every time I went to visit, and she still never let me win. She is a ruthless Sorry player - she sends you back to start with a keen eye for position, as she sings the "Sorry Song." Words on the screen do not do it justice, but my siblings and cousins will surely hear her singing it: "Sorry, sorry, sorry-sorry-sorry." (She wasn't sorry.) I told her I remembered how my brother would cry when we played this game. "You kids all cried," she said, "But I never let you win." We also made Christmas balls, went to the movies, went shopping, went out to eat. And lately, we play a game of Sorry and watch a movie on TV instead of leaving the house. These may be considered mundane pastimes, I suppose. But somehow, they were always fun.
I hope she can read my blog now. I made her a button on her computer, and showed her how to click it. But she said she was too stupid to learn the computer. Yet she was a whiz at Solitaire. She learned what she wanted to learn. But she wouldn't admit it. And for all her grumbling (and she grumbled a lot) I truly believe she's been at peace for a long time, just enjoying passing through life.