Thursday, December 14, 2006


Today was the day, which is what everyone expected. I'm most sad for mom, who's dealing with the aftermath. And for my grandfather who lost the woman he's been with since he was 16 years old. Every day. Every night. They were together for nearly sixty years.

I had a Remains of the Day experience of it. I got an email from mom while I was at work, "Just wanted to let you know, she passed away today at 12:45." I had a flush of nervous heat and a welling of tears, but bit it all back and worked out the rest of my shift. Then, of course, I cried all the way home.

Goodbye Peggy Irene Marshall Register. Goodbye woman we all called "Nuany" because, when I was just a baby I couldn't say granny and that's what came out and it stuck. Goodbye to your fat cheeks and your sweet voice and your curlers and your shallow brown dishes with ice-cream and your brunswick stew and your shawls, oh god all your shawls, and your coulottes, and your moomoos, and all your garish beads, and the washrag always balled in your hand and your little laugh like a ringing bell, and your sweet little self.

Goodbye to your body wherever it is, whatever they're doing to it, however they dress you, and curl your hair, however they make up your face. Goodbye to your skin and your teeth and your hair and your arms, legs, hands and feet.

Goodbye to your spirit, your consciousness, whatever you have, wherever it goes, if it streamed up into some white light, if it just dissipated, if the lord came down and met you, I don't know. Goodbye. I hope you were met by good people. In my fantasy you've hooked up with June Carter, who you went to high school with in Richmond. In my fantasy, you two are having a nice laugh and singing the old songs together. Don't tell her I said so, but your voice is so much prettier.

Goodbye, I love you, and thanks for all of it.


Anonymous roro said...

Lovely goodbye. So sorry for your loss. I hope your sweet grandma is hangin' with June Carter too! It's been a bad year for losing grandparents.

4:05 PM  

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