The year is almost gone. Growing up, I couldn’t fathom years in the 2000’s. My daughter being 12, can’t fathom how her old mother was born in the 1900’s. Perspective never changes I guess.
In October of 2010, I lost one of my grandmothers. She was my favorite in a different way than my other grandmother (the one that lives with me now) is my favorite. My Grams was raised in a time where you had to be proper, and act like a lady at all times. She hardly curses, she knows how to write in short-hand, she believes in being a domesticated woman. I get that trait from her. Being domesticated is something I take great pleasure in.
My Grandma, the one that passed away, well ….
In every other way, I am just like her. She was raised in the country with no more than an elementary school education. She raised hell and didn’t apologize for it. She cursed and smoked cigarettes. The one time she smoked pot, she got paranoid and ran outside naked and peed in the bushes.
Watching her die took a piece of me with every last breath that she took. Having the honor of taking care of her for the last year of her life, I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. My grandma was an alcoholic my entire life, but the last year of her life, she lived with me and she didn’t drink a drop. She knew she was sick, she knew she didn’t have long. We watched Wendy Williams together, I took her to the store and to cash her meager social security checks. She taught me how to cook some of her favorite country dishes. She gave me her two favorite knives and I still have them. They cut better than any other knife I have and I have never had to sharpen them. When Andy’s mom lived with us for a brief moment, she accidentally (or so she said) packed my grandma’s knives in her boxes. When I couldn’t find them, I nearly had a panic attack. Those are all that I have left of her.
She would have been happy for me, in my current state. She’d like my husband. I know he’d like her. She was a no-filter kind of woman. One of her favorite lines were “Piss on it. If you can’t piss on it, shit on it. If you can’t shit on it, fuck it.” And off she’d go. Those were her words of wisdom to keep stress from invading your life.
Today I also realized a huge difference in the man I chose to marry verses the men that I have been in relationships with prior to him. All of the other men, I was hasty to jump into bed with them on the first or second date. It was how I was raised, it was what I saw. If you wanted men to love you, you gave up the goods so that they knew what they had.
With my husband, I already had the advantage of knowing him since I was 12, but the important part was that I fell in love with him before we ever slept together. I fell in love with his words, with his mind, with his incredible sex appeal that he swears nobody else in the world can see except for me.
He is my ride-or-die man. He’s smart, charismatic, brilliant, and my match in every single way. If something ever happened to him, I really do not know how I would go on. Just being in his presence gives me butterflies and makes me weak in the knees.
One of my patients came in this week. Her husband passed away in late August. They had been married for 26 years. She talked about him the way I talk about my husband. She said they were joined at the hip, they did everything together, that he was her best friend in the entire universe. Then she dissolved into a fit of tears and apologized 20 times. I told her to not ever be sorry for loving someone so much that it nearly rips her apart to be without him. That kind of love is rare. She will never be the same. She will miss him for the rest of her days on this earth. It broke my heart.
I’ve lost 4 patients in the past month. I’m still recovering from it. Life is just too short.