Monday, October 31, 2011
I lay in bed, uncomfortable, but not wanting to get up. It had been a month since my grandmother passed away, and the heart ache of living without her still felt like a fifty pound weight sitting on my chest.
As I stared out the window, full of sorrow for myself at the thought of what this first year without her would be like, I felt the energy leaving my body, even after ten hours of sleep.
I sighed as I looked at the clock on the dresser that faced me. In the middle of the dresser there was a pink bedroom lamp, and next to the lamp there was a framed picture of me at eight years old sitting on my grandmother's lap. The sunshine was coming in now, strong -- and there was no need for any lights to be on. The brightness of the room made me remember what my grandmother would always say when we'd put the lights on in the house on a sunny day, "The sun is out! What a sin to have the lights on when we have the Lord's light!" She'd then furiously walk through the house, flicking off every light switch with her determined hand.
As I thought of her I pulled the covers up to my nose, and knew the thirtieth day of beginning my mornings in sobs was seconds away. The familiar bottom lip trembling began, and right on time, the floodgates opened.
My tears were hot and they spilled out of the inner corners of my eyes with no forced effort from me. I was home alone and gave in to the luxury of loud, heaving cries of emotional pain that felt so good.
How I wailed, how I self indulged; "Oh, grandmother, what will I do without you? What will I doooooo? I miss you so much. I don't want to do anything but just lay here and cry..." The clock on the dresser said seven, I disregarded it. I didn't care about anything. This was how it had been for four weeks now.
I was full throttle on with self pity. I had been crazy about Shakespeare in high school and took to memorizing any lines that spoke to me in my sophomore angst. I knew even back then, with the melodramatic mindset I was developing, that there'd be plenty o'times a Shakespeare quote would come in handy in my lifetime. Like just this very morning, "My grief lies all within and these external manners of lament are merely shadows to the unseen grief that swells in my tortured soul."
Dude knew what he was talking about.
I continued on with the wails and chest thumping and thoughts of how no one had ever suffered a broken heart like this.
Remember Smokey Robinson? You think Smokey was singing about losing a girl in "Just To See Her Again?" No...no no no and no. You would be wrong. He was singing about my grandmother.
I lay in bed, ten feet deep into my one woman show of offering up croaked bars of "...I would give anything...just to see her again..." and decide to call in sick to work -- once more -- and spend the rest of the morning wallowing in this personal pain. "Why, gramma, why?? WHYYYYYY???"
As I enter round three of woe-is-me, the pink bedroom lamp on my dresser begins to flicker off and on like a strobe light. I gasp and stare wide eyed, incredulous at what is happening. Time felt suspended, and what may have been a just a millisecond felt more like minutes.
I have always been a kid, then later on the type of person, that responded quickly to a good, swift kick in the ass.
I knew who it was. I spoke to her, tremulously, "Okay, gramma, okay..I'll get up. I'm scared. I'll stop. I'll get up..."
Just to make sure I did get my sorry wallowing butt out of bed, she then decided to knock down the picture -- the one of us together -- to the ground.
Holy cow, you've never seen anyone throw back covers and jump out of bed faster than me that morning.
"Okay, Okay, Okay, I'm all done with Smokey, no more Shakespeare. Loud and clear." I raced through the house, got dressed, found my shoes, grabbed my keys, and slammed the door behind me.
Up and at 'em. From bed to door in twenty minutes flat.
And this is my true Halloween Tale for you today.