i prayed it happen in the fall

I prayed it’d happen in the fall. Who wants to die in the winter? And summer is to be watched over like a small child, and its death should be mourned like our own. My grandmother died yesterday. The woman who sent me to parks to play on monkey bars, essentially teaching me to let go, stretch into the unknown and grab hold of something new. The old woman who handed me a spool of thread and a needle because her sight wasn’t so great, showing me the ease of looking around the eye of the needle, and the difficulty of looking through one. In the event my relationships fell apart, this is how I would fix this at the seam.

My grandmother died in the fall. And I miss her like I’d miss my imagination had it ever left. I miss her because my soul was attached to hers at its hip, and because I drank coffee by the cups when I was 5, and just because. I lost my best friend, but I watched her stare through a window I was unable to, and I know, because of the imagination that hasn’t left yet, that she’s on the other side of that window, in some park, playing on monkey bars.

No one would understand the power of our final conversation, or the reason I cried as hard as I did for so brief, then smiled for so long. I broke, and because there is no one right now to meet the girl of my childhood, I used the needle and thread to put myself together.

For Irene Elizabeth Jones (June 1, 1932 – October 3, 2011)

-darnell lamont walker

10 thoughts on “i prayed it happen in the fall

  1. My Grandma is my mother. Someone said she passed away and they try to show me photos of her gravestone that shows she was laid to rest with my Grandpa who is a World War II Veteran. She died because no one was watching her and she lit her sleeve on fire cleaning the stove. She never realized she was burning due to being in the last stages of Dementia. She practically burned her whole left arm off by the time one of the 10 people in the house found her in the kitchen. It was the fire that would kill her, pneumonia that led to infection. She passed weeks later. I believed she would live forever. Or something like that because to me she was infinite. She had the answer for everything. There was no problem, only solutions. She also taught me to sew.
    I went to see her in the hospital, occassionally asking her “Mom, who am I?” only so I could hear her say my name. Somehow it comforted me to hear her say “Your Maria Elena” because I knew Dementia had not defeated her yet as long as she said who I was. It was my dance with the devil, fighting him for her last moments and her mind. When she left the hospital, she left with a hospice team and plans to execute her last days on this earth with support and medication to make the transition easier. Where was my support? Why did I feel the execution more? And what the hell does transition mean anway damnit??!! And who said I wanted to be the one to go help pick out her casket of white and baby blue? What made me the flower expert for the spray on her casket??
    And who the hell put this knife in my heart?
    I went into her room and sat by her bed and cried for a long time, I wanted to get in the bed and die with her but I couldn’t. Her breathing was slowing down. It was hours before her last birthday….she would turn 82 years old on February 19, 2011. I walked out and never looked back.
    Someone told me she died days later, they even tried to show me photos. I never went to a funeral. Or saw her in a coffin.

    “My mother is not dead.” I tell them.
    This is how I choose to live the rest of my life.
    She is my Mother. Always in the present tense.

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