Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Regarding Beth

Yesterday I wrote a REALLY depressing blog post about how much I hate the holidays and then I had second thoughts about posting it and, instead, posted that cheerful recipe for Corn Pone Pie (which seriously -- It's got corn and it's got pone, what more could you want?).

Suffice to say, I was sad because I remembered the last time I saw my grandma was the day after Thanksgiving last year. She had a stroke a few days later, and died after she was suffocated by her feeding tube, which had been inserted into her lungs (I know I've never addressed this here and I'm not ready to delve into how fucking angry it makes me, but the truth of the matter is the stroke didn't kill her -- the hospital did).

It makes the holidays a little sad, you know? And then I started getting all mopey about how the holidays suck now because everything revolves around accomodating elderly people who are in declining health, and it's fucking sad. When I was a kid my dad would say, "You should appreciate your grandparents. They're not going to be around forever, you know." Which, when you're like 7 years old, you're thinking, Of course they'll be around forever.

Because I had zero concept of age. A 35-year-old man could have claimed to be 493 years old and I would have believed him because a) I still did not understand the concept of how fun it is to fuck with little kids and b) I still did not understand the concept of age and c) I still did not understand the concept of death.

Shortly thereafter, my grandmother's boyfriend, Harold, died, and I was very sad that I wouldn't get to see him ever again, but then again, we got to go to Disneyland, which as everyone knows is the HAPPIEST FUCKING PLACE ON EARTH, especially when you are 8 years old, and pretty soon I was associating Harold's death with having lots of fun, and if Harold was in heaven anyway, how awful could that be?

And when my dog, Nicky, died when I was 11, I was horribly sad, but my sadness got diluted by my anger towards my dad (it's a long story) and then another dog appeared in our lives.

It wasn't until I moved out and was living with a friend and I got a phone call that my aunt's partner had died that the true impact of a person's death struck home with me. A person I loved had been taken from me and my family and this made me inconsolable. And since that time, I've been living in a changed world in which, as Dr. Evil says, people DIE. People die and they die and they die some more. They die and we are dragged through the horrifying process of planning their funerals and burying them and then they are simply gone and it's surreal and sometimes we forget they are dead but then we remember, I remember, she is dead. She was sitting next to me in a restaurant, smiling, making plans for the future, and then the next time I saw her she was in a dusty rose-colored casket and they put her in the ground and now ...

Now we are here without her, planning holidays without her, and it's like trying to get warm when there's a bag of ice under your shirt. We can smile and make Corn Pone Pie and cherish our remaining few family members -- and we will -- but I feel cold and tired and melancholy and bruised.

So believe it or not, this was the post that was NOT depressing, and I didn't mean for it to even get this deep or sad or real. But, this is reality. I'm trying to wrap up by saying something about being thankful on Thanksgiving -- and I am thankful for so many things, so many wonderful things in my life that I probably don't deserve. But I can be thankful and I can miss my grandma at the same time, and I'm just saying, I miss her.


  1. Thank you for sharing and for being honest. I know I always tell you how funny you are, which is true. But the honesty in your writing is really what I like best.

  2. My grandma died last year just before the holidays, I feel you. And your thought about our families getting smaller as the ones we love pass on really hits home. Thanks for sharing.