Friday, July 02, 2010

still living

What The Living Do
Marie Howe

"Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there
And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up,

waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It's winter again: the sky's a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat's on too high in here and I can't turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I've been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss--we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless:
I am living. I remember you. "

What more is there for the living to do than to live?  My grandfather, a man I admired and looked up to my entire life, is gone.  Once again I face the difficult task of letting go.  I got to say goodbye too him. I got to tell him how much I loved him.  This will have to be enough.  When Pam died I struggled with moving on.  It didn't feel right to move forward when she could not. 
It was 5:45 a.m. when my mom called to tell me my grandpa was gone.  I was asleep dreaming.  In my dream we were building a house on the land I love so much.  Hayden was around five-years-old and was helping David hammer in a nail.  My entire family was there to help except for grandpa.  I thought about this dream as I snuggled in close to Hayden.  I stroked his head and gave him a kiss.  I thought about my grandpa and the pieces of him that live on through each of us.  I thought about what it means to honor someone, not just for a moment or a day, but throughout your life.  I will honor my grandpa by carrying on. 
I will got to a ball game tonight with family and friends.  I will chant and cheer and laugh and smile.  And all the while I will be "gripped by a cherrishing so deep." for the days I had with my grandpa and for those that I have left without him.


aola said...

love you!!!! a lot.

Sandra said...

Thank you A. I love you too.