Holly (formanymiles) wrote,
Holly
formanymiles

ship to wreck

On my walk last Sunday morning, I listened to an episode of This American Life called "Return to the Scene of the Crime," where a few luminaries revisited consequential moments of their lives and dissected them. One was a comedian, talking about getting hit by a drunk driver and coming around to the idea of marriage; one was Joss Whedon, who sang a song about how much he hates doing DVD commentaries but loves getting paid for them (sigh); and one was Dan Savage, who talked about the death of his mother. I didn't quite finish the podcast on the walk, so I finished listening to it on my way back and had one of those awesome "try not to cry at a stoplight" moments while thinking about my grandmother, who died two years ago today.

She died of lung cancer, less than a month after being diagnosed with it. All that summer she had a cough that kept getting worse, and each of us individually begged her to let us take her to a doctor, but I think she knew what it was, and she refused to go. And then she refused chemotherapy, because the cancer had metastasized to every organ and bone in her body. After reading the report, I don't know how she lasted the twenty-eight days after diagnosis that she did. Being with her and taking care of her as she was dying is the most adult thing I've done in my life. For a year after she died, I took flowers to her every Friday after work, a thirty minute drive to the church and a thirty minute drive back on narrow country roads that I would not recommend driving while gritting your teeth through grief and anger.

Saturday, my mom sent my sister and me over to my grandpa's to go through my grandmother's jewelry; he had been asking her to do it for about a year, probably, but she just couldn't. So now I have one of her rings and a bracelet with her name on it. I thought I would have to have the ring sized up to accommodate my giant hands, because my grandmother was a small woman with skinny little fingers, but I tried it yesterday on my right ring finger and it fit.

Man, today is not a day for mascara.
Tags: just talking
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