Sunday, March 12, 2006

I Hate Good-Byes

My 80-something-nearly-90-year-old Grandma Joyce is, in the words of one of her sons, “slipping away.” This is immensely sad. No one is actually surprized when someone who is nearly 90 dies, but the loss still hits you in the chest like a rock…or a truck. Partly it is the indignity of the process (her process). Loss upon loss: the physical shrunkenness, the lack of memory, the failing control of bodily functions. The intermittant realization that one is losing one’s mind must be the ultimate humiliation---or at least feel like it, no matter how loved ones try and ease the passage.

I am deeply sad that this is what it has come to---saying good-bye to my Grandma Joyce, whose house seemed like a wonderland to the child me. When we came to visit the grown-ups talked and laughed and smoked and watched TV and forgot about us kids in a good way so we stayed up late and pretended we were invisible under the bed so we could watch the Friday Night Movie, too.

Grandma Joyce’s was a good place to go, with the long driveway and the trampoline and the canyon to explore. Mom seemed happy there, and it wasn’t until later, as a young adult, that I began to learn Grandma may have been easier to have as a grandma than as a mom. As with many families the picture fills out as you get older. My memories of Grandma Joyce are all fondness, but I grew to understand why my Mom’s are much more mixed. The more I’ve learned and understood, the more I’ve been able to appreciate how my own mom (and dad) did the best they could in the moments they had, with what they’d been given. And really, that’s all any of us can do.

I’ll try and be ready to say good-bye Grandma. No, I won’t be ready, but it’s not up to me. Thanks for being good to me when I was little. I’ll never forget it. I love you Grandma Joyce.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


that one’s mylar
a heart in the sky
mine is muscle and blood
and tender parts and
too much pain

who let go
to let it twist up
free and away
or lost

my tears fall like
in june
unwelcome not
the mylar heart passes
through the
it’s ribbon tail dances
too high to

if my heart
a ribbon tail it would
hold tight don’t
lose me or
let go
i can’t dance

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ciao, Baby

Leaving in an hour and a half or so to take my baby girl to the airport for 10 weeks in Europe. All by her lonesome she travels. I know---think I know---it will be a great experience for her. But I so desperately need her to come home alive.