Tuesday turned out to be a somber day. It wasn’t until the brisk fresh air entered my lungs while on our walk that I realized just what it was. I was missing my grandmother. I missed her like a thirst that you know you’ll be unable to quench.
I felt lazy. The lack of sleep had been weighing on me. I pushed open the windows to my office and an almost constant breeze came wafting in. In retrospect, the wind was reminiscent of the same type of breeze I’d feel when sitting on a cool Jamaica day on my grandparents’ veranda, gazing at the ocean and the spectacular view. When walking outside the weather began to turn. Storm clouds loomed above and the wind remained constant. It was cool and refreshing. I was reminded of a day at the beach. In Jamaica, it’s not at all uncommon for the day to move from picturesque to momentarily dreary and back again.
The reminder of the place I once called home sat heavily on my heart. I allowed the wind to pass through me, wishing that it could take with it the pain I still feel every day. Every day is a day that takes me further and further away from her. Everyday I still listen to her voice in my head. I can still hear it. Her tone. Her inflection. Her warmth. I miss her.
I honestly can’t imagine going back to my childhood home without her being there, waiting on the veranda or at the bakery, as if she would always remain in a singular way in my mind. I can’t playfully attempt to sit on her lap and I’ll never again feel the warmth of her touch. She’s been gone for over a year and the expanse, the hole that still remains is so much.
The tears stream down my face as I think of her, wishing for one more moment, yearning for it. I realized that subconsciously I still struggle with the loss. It’s still fresh, raw. In many ways I lost both her and my grandfather at the same time. I have long cocooned their shared existence – as if one could not exist without the other. I want to protect the memories. I want to preserve them both.
In later years I was like many adult grandchildren, so busy with my life to call with much regularity. Sure, there were the customary calls on the holidays or birthdays, but I’d put a lot of miles and emotional distance between myself and Jamaica. For all it’s good and bad, I needed that space. But when you throw the baby out with the bath water you’re just not thinking straight. You’re left, in so many ways, with an empty tub.
All I know is that I miss her. I miss him too. We want so much to make it to the future that we don’t see what we’ll lose by saying goodbye to the past.