sadness

Jan. 23rd, 2009 11:06 am
chelidon: (tired head)
[personal profile] chelidon
I got a call from my father early this morning that my grandmother died about 3am last night. She was my father's mother, the Irish side of the family, in her 90s and in seriously declining health, recently moved from her apartment to assisted living and then to hospice care, but I think this caught us all by surprise just the same.

I can remember her even in her late 80s, thin and bird-like, smoking like a chimney, drinking like a fish, sharp as a whip and sitting at the dining room table whipping everyone's ass at poker. She is the one who after her husband came back from WWII and began to physically abuse her, put up with it for a time -- until the very first time he hit her son, then she picked up and moved out without a second thought, not common in the 1940s, especially for someone with few resources. She raised two sons as a single mom, and raised them well.

She's one of my heroes, and now one of my ancestors, and I am going to miss her presence. She was also my last living grandparent. I feel incredibly blessed to have had her so long, and now, as we all do sooner or later if we live long enough, I move up one notch in the cosmic family tree, with both parents thankfully reasonably healthy, but noting that the wheel of mortality turns on, inexorably, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

New life, and death. Joyous beginnings, and the deep and painful mourning of what has passed. My life has been very full last year, and in this new one, of both sides of the great balance. Momentarily at the fulcrum of the leminscate, I am blessed by the past, I am blessed in the present, I am blessed by the future, and I bless, and give thanks, as I am blessed.

Thanks be to the ancestors, and to those yet to be born. And especially, especially, thanks to all those of you who are here and now. Each and every one of you is a blessing, and I am grateful.
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