died this morning. My kooky grandmother, my silly grandmother, the lady who convinced me when I was little that there were spies
in the ceiling ducts of restaurants keeping tally of how many maraschino cherries
I had in my soft drinks. And with her death
. I haven't seen her in about six or seven years... I haven't talked to her in about two. My father
always asked me to visit her with him, and I always refused, for the mere reason that she was old. She was a reminder of my imminent aging
and death, something that I generally do not like to think of. She was a good woman, a wonderful woman
, but it scared me to see her.
I remember, also, what happened the last time I did
see her. We were driving to a cemetary
in late summer in Ohio
to see my great aunt
's grave. My dad was lost, and couldn't remember what part of the cemetary it was in... my grandmother, settled on being cranky
that day, refused to tell him where it was. Finally, the combination of the heat
and her stubborness
got to me and I screamed at her, "You're a stupid old woman and I hate you! Why don't you just tell him where it is?" Her eyes grew dark, upset. I've never apologized
for saying that, or some of the other "nice" things I said to her during that visit. And now... now all I can think of is how she probably died thinking her grandaughter hated her and was glad she was dying.
When I was little, she was my favorite person in the world. She'd take me out for ice cream
when she visited, go "boy hunting" (a little inside joke between the two of us), and tell me interesting stories about her life and what my dad was like when he was little. I loved her
. I still do. I just hope that in the end, despite my lack of communication, she realized that.