You never know when it’s your last time to see someone, until it’s the last time. Somehow today, as I glanced across the lawn into my grandmother’s yard, I knew it would be the last time I laid eyes on her. As she smoothly glided around the motor home she had just purchased, I think she knew it too.
Maybe I should back-track a little bit to remind you of my relationship with my family (as I don’t think I have covered this yet). My relationship with my father’s two sisters and his mother and father (Granny and Pa as we used to call them), is nonexistant. They try….I’m sorry, they “appear” to try and see my nephews, but as far as I’m concerned, they don’t exist. Dear old Granny used to buy me beautiful dresses and clothes one to two sizes too small when I was little. Can you imagine? A beautiful dress comes out of a fancy box. You are six and ecstatic. Granny ushers you into the next room so you can try it on and it doesn’t fit….because she purposefully bought it too small so she could look at you and say, “Guess you’re just too big to fit in it.” I’m not sure what I wanted to call her at six, but at twenty-six the words hateful bitch come to mind. So, yeah…there’s the relationship there. My Pa allowed this by agreeing with how she treated his grandchildren.
On my mother’s side, my grandfather, Pop, was my everything. I was the apple of his eye and I can remember his love for me like it was yesterday. After he died, Nana, who lived right next door went crazy, got married, got divoreced, disowned her family, got addicted to drugs, started drinking, stayed with her ex-husband and tried to kill herself. I haven’t seen her or spoken to her since Fall 2013. Wow. That’s almost been two years. She put her house up for sale and has been galivanting off with that man ever since. She has never even seen my nephew Gunner, her second grandchild; she hasn’t seen JP since he was two, maybe three. He will be seven this December.
Anyways, imagine my surprise when Nana and her husband pulled in next door this past weekend. I was hoping that maybe he was dropping her off and she was finally going to get to come to her senses. Wrong. Turns out they finally sold her house. The house where so many memories still live. The house that Pop died in. How could she sell it???? Apparently they traded the people that are moving in for the motor home. When I pulled in from a long day, they were preparing the motor home to leave. (At this point, everything that was happening was stil speculation/guesstimate.) She seemed to pause briefly as she stepped into her vehicle, glance over her shoulder, but as quickly as she glanced, she got in and closed the door. In that heartbreaking moment, my bottom lip began to quiver and I knew what was happening. She had just sold her only tie to her past life. The life with her family. The life with Pop. As she pulled away, part of me wanted to scream out and tell her to wait! I wanted to say goodbye! Why are you so determined to get away from here? Why is he so damned important? But I said nothing and I watched her pull away.
Sometimes, if you pay attention, you have a pretty good idea when it’s the last time you will see someone. Doesn’t make it hurt any less.
Later tonite as we all sat on the porch and contemplated Nana’s new life, the neighbors walked over and introduced themselves. They seemed like good people. Daddy went next door to show them the water meter and sewer drain…etc. When he came back he was toting boxes. Before he could say anyting I recognized what they were. Once upon a time, Nana bought all of her granddaughters porcelain dolls that they could have when she had passed on, as a momento of sorts. There in those four boxes were our dolls. There was even a fifth box for my mother, which came as a shock. My little sister made the comment through stifled tears, “It’s like she’s already dead. We probably won’t ever see her again.” I burst into tears. There’s something completely sad about her statement, but she had seen in these boxes what I had seen as Nana left today, goodbye. Bittersweet goodbye.
Yes she had done shitty things to her family. Yes she was being difficult. Once upon a time, she was a pretty cool grandmother, and the only decent one we had. Today, I feel like I just laid her six feet under and all I want to do is cry. She made it very clear where her loyalties lie. The only silver lining is, I’m so glad Pop isn’t alive to see how our family turned out. It’d kill him.
Happy endings don’t happen in real life though, but I guess you already guessed that. Endings are just another beginning. Let’s see how this one turns out…