i grasp her cold hand and whisper, "i'm not ready for you to go..."
her eyelids flutter open. i notice for the first time that i have her nailbeds. it's funny the things you never notice. the things that connect us. so many things have come from her, my nailbeds are just a silly detail in the legacy she will leave behind.
the matriarch of my family is dying. and i'm not ready.
"oh deary," she scolds me, "you must be ready." and she is. then she shares with me the metaphor that she is counting on. "i believe god walks through his garden everyday and picks the flowers that he wants to take." i hate the thought, of god picking her, but cannot do anything but love the metaphor and the woman in front of me.
i have no such metaphor. and right now i need more than a metaphor, i am praying for a miracle.
i've been praying a lot. which isn't like me. but i'm lost and alone and tired. i'm tired of being self-sufficient and strong. tired of being the one who doesn't need help. who doesn't even think she needs god for godsake!
so the other day, on the way to visit my dying grandmother, I did something i've never done before. i actually let someone take care of me. i let the nice man under my hood to check my fluids. he added two quarts of oil, washer fluid, and anti-freeze. he took care of me, when i couldn't do it alone anymore. i couldn't even check my own fluids. but there is the metaphor, i guess. i'm letting god under my hood. and maybe this modern metaphor is not as beautiful as my grandmother's, but either way you look at it, fluids or flowers, we all need metaphors to live by. to die by.
we're going away this weekend to our secret spot. a log cabin in the woods. tucked away just far enough to feel like a real adventure. just the three of us. along with my knitting, a book, and lots of wine, bread and cheese. just a few nights away....celebrating the fact that we've been sharing eachother's secrets for 6 years...
when can something officially be called a "tradition?" well, this is the closest thing we've got. our dearest friends, a short walk over to the the christmas tree farm (4 blocks from our house), trapsing through the snow, finding the perfect spruce, dragging it back home, hot cocoa, nog and knob, and of course the fourth annual question, "where and the hell are we going to put this thing???" (yes, that's our tree off to the right in the above photo!)
it's always way too big, 'cause they look so much smaller in the woods. but it's a tradition that i love and i'd say that it's as close as we'll ever come to traditional.
this year was bittersweet due to bad weather. many couldn't make it. but the good news is everyone is alive.
oh, and the tree definitely won't fit in the door, but it sure looks nice on the front porch!