Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rose Marie O'Leary Stewart, September 19th,1927-July 9th,1987

Today is the 21st anniversary of the day my Grandma died of cancer. She was 59.

It started to pour rain outside just as I typed that line, and just as the first tear fell.

Someday, maybe, I'll do an entry about my family's history, and how it lends itself to the weird things that happen to us every so often since my Grandma passed. I think I have at least one (particular) relative reading this (Kristin), and if she is, I think she & I should compare stories someday, because our grandmothers were sisters, and we were both very close to them, and the house where we spent much of our childhood was...not normal. In the sense that Not Normal Things would happen a lot. Again, it's an entry for another time, but it's interesting to expand one's mind and think about just how far one's energy can reach...

I'm starting to think that this...thing...that I Spider Senses, as my Mom calls them...are from my Grandma too. There were a lot of things that seemed normal at the time when I was a kid, but looking back, I realize that they were NOT. Like how she & I would spend an entire weekend together and hardly talk, because we didn't have to. And we were happy being together. She used to say that I "filled [her] up", and now I have to wonder if that particular wording is as significant as it seems.

I have so many better pictures than this one, but it's the only one I have that's scanned in, so for now it'll have to do: My grandma, holding me (and my heavy casts on my poor, twisted little legs) just shortly after my surgery when I was almost 4 months old.

I don't really know what the point of this entry is. Aside from marking the day, as I always do, and avoiding everyone and everything for as long as I can, because even 21 years later, the loss is still enormous. It never seemed to get smaller, somehow. The hole she left was so big. Is. And I never got a chance to ask her if she knew that there was something different about her, if she knew that she was as bright as the sun and could empathize to a degree that I'm sure many mystics would sell their soul to attain. Because I didn't know, as a little girl, that those were questions that needed answers. I had no idea that I would end up having so many of her characteristics. Even now, every so often, my mother will look at me bemusedly - sometimes for no discernible reason (although usually because I have A Look on my face) - and say, "You are so much like your Grandma."

A blessing and a curse. But also the biggest compliment I could ever be given.

ETA: As I hit 'post' for this entry, the rain stopped. It is now incredibly sunny outside. How...very.

ETA II: Quite by chance, my Mom literally just found my grandmother's notebook full of her poems (most of which are quite funny, and clearly she had me following in her footsteps, as you'll see)...and the one on the last page is written by both of us, together. I wrote the first verse and she wrote the last. I thought it deserved to be included in this entry:

To Gramma

[my part]
She thought she could
But then she couldn't
She thought she would
But then she wouldn't
[Grandma's part]
She thought she might
But then she mightn't
She thought she did
But then she didn't
She started to
But then she waited
She's definitely discombobulated.

Right below it is a poem I apparently wrote for her on the same date, July 29th, 1985, with a big heart at the bottom:

Grandma's nice,
Grandma's sweet,
I love her so
I can feel the heat
Of her love,
Coming through.
She loves me,
Grandma, I love you!

Love, Heather

So...maybe I did tell her she was as bright as the sun, after all.

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