I visited my grandmother yesterday because her health is deteriorating and isn't expected to live out the end of the month. I'm not used to seeing her in that state, she has always been incredibly independent – though now she's in hospice and we can barely make out her speech. I guess I've been dreading this day, but kept putting-off thinking about it for all the obvious reasons, and telling myself that it's because she didn't show warning until now. I guess it sort of makes me feel a little better; pretending that I didn't know the time crept up. But more so, I am comforted by knowing that I spent a lot of quality time with her a couple of years ago, while I lived a year with her when I first left Hemet to work in Anaheim. I will always remember the stories she *repeatedly* recited of my many shenanigans, and those of my family – now realizing why she retold them so often. One of her favorites was when she, my mom, and my especially-conservative aunt were bathing me (at age 2 or 3) and left me in the bath to play while they chatted in the nearby kitchen. After a couple of minutes they were interrupted by a toddler-sized roar followed by a plethora of Spanish curses directed at them. After running to the bathroom, they found me furiously trying to wipe a few suds of shampoo out of my face – she laughs herself to tears every time she retells this story.
Although the light that is her life is dimming, she valiantly accepts visitors, faintly laughing while she attempts to speak, as if to show that she has accepted her inevitable fait. When someone fares her goodbye, she raises her hands and wavers a catholic blessing in a very maternal manner.
I've learned to disconnect myself from my emotions and reality, especially during these times, so it hasn't quite set in – feeling sort of numb to everything, even the taste of food doesn't have the same appeal. The only thing I've found to extract me from this protected state is music. I caught myself watching concerts on t.v. or music related programs, three radios in my home are on, there isn't a room that doesn't have music playing. I was watching a Dixie Chicks concert on DVD earlier and the perfect song came on, called Silent House. This part was especially fitting, "Everyday that will pass you by, every name that you won't recall, everything that you made by hand, everything that you know by heart -- and I will try to connect, all the pieces you left, I will carry it on, and let you forget, and I'll remember the years,when your mind was clear, how the laughter and life, filled up this silent house".
Writing this blog certainly helped me gather my thoughts – baby steps, guys.Click play below to listen to the studio version.
Silent House - Dixie Chicks