Monday, June 22, 2009


Grace Bernice Allen 1913-2003

Oh... I am soooo way behind on my blogging. So much to tell you. But today I am thinking of my grandma--my dad's mom--because it's her birthday. That also means that the six-year anniversary of her death is sometime in the next week or so. I make it a point not to remember that date, but it's hard to forget that she seemed to wait until just after her birthday to give in to the thick forgetting that had been taking her slowly from us for years. Had she just turned 90? For some reason, I was thinking she was 93.

Last year, my uncle did the same, gave in to his cancer right around this time of year. Again, I don't remember, or want to remember, the date. It's strange to miss someone you didn't see but once a year or so, but it happens. My uncle was my grandma's sweet boy. They both died in Havasu City, Arizona, which I guess is as good a place to die as anywhere. But this is a blog about her birthday.

Every year I forget exactly which day is my grandma's birthday because two of my best friends from Jr. high/high school have birthdays on the other two days between the 20th and the 22nd... I don't talk to them anymore either, but they're not dead, at least not that I know of. I miss them, but not like I miss my grandma. I'm pretty sure today is her day. In fact, I'm positive. (Called my dad anyway, just to be sure. He still carries these dates in his wallet.)

I like to think she's watching over me, watching me live this sublime life in a country she never dreamed about. At least I don't think she did. I don't think she ever traveled outside of the U.S. Maybe on a cruise, the one she took with my grandpa... not my grandpa, her husband who died when I was two. No, a couple of years later she started hangin' out with my other grandpa, my mom's dad. (Alhambra was a very close community ;) He would come over to her house and we would sit around the kitchen table "working the puzzle" as she called it. She loved that word scramble puzzle in the paper, I don't know which paper. Now, the kitchen table is in my back yard in Long Beach rusting in the mild weather. Her tea cups are in my bookshelf. I miss my stuff.

Mostly, I miss her, a lot. I guess I always will. The missing doesn't even seem to evolve, at least not since getting over the initial shock of her physical absence. I want to climb into her hospital bed again, smell her old skin, feel its crepe under my fingers. Better yet, I want to climb into her bed in Alhambra, keep her warm, listen to her snoring. I want to go to Newberry's with her, then Bob's Big Boy for spaghetti and chili and a hot fudge sunday.

Happy birthday, Grandma.

1 comment:

em said...

i'm so glad you're back...i've been waiting to hear your words. and this post is so lovely. sad and lovely. i have been a terrible stranger lately. i promise to be more in touch. xoxo