I went to the old folk’s home yesterday to see my grandma. She’s almost 100 (next May!) and just as beautiful as ever. She doesn’t remember much, or at least not in any practical way, but she always knows me right away, and that makes my heart catch and release. She and I saved each other when I was a newborn baby, and my mother was sick. She cared for me, and I helped her find a place to turn her grief into love again; she had just lost her youngest son, and I needed her so badly; no one could get me to take a bottle, and my mother was, as far as I knew, gone, and everyone around me was grieving. So much sorrow and so much hard to understand for her and for me; we simply clung to each other, and trusted in love.
She was a passionate woman, and strong, and she always understood when as a child, I felt things so deeply, took things so hard. She would stroke my hair, and say, “Sweetheart, it will be easier later, when you’re older, and have more perspective.”
Now she spends all of her days thinking, as best she can, about the people she has known and loved. She says, “I think of a person, and sometimes they are a child, or sometimes they are grown, but whatever comes into my mind about them, I just hold it for as long as I can, and I think about how much I loved them.”
All day. Every day. What could be more beautiful than that?
And I look at her face, so soft and kind and still so lovely, and all I can think is to follow her example, and simply think about how much I’ve loved her.