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My grandmother died this morning. My kooky grandmother, my silly grandmother, the lady who convinced me when I was little that there were spies in the ceiling ducts of restaurants keeping tally of how many maraschino cherries I had in my soft drinks. And with her death comes... guilt.

Immense guilt. I haven't seen her in about six or seven years... I haven't talked to her in about two. My father always asked me to visit her with him, and I always refused, for the mere reason that she was old. She was a reminder of my imminent aging and death, something that I generally do not like to think of. She was a good woman, a wonderful woman, but it scared me to see her.

I remember, also, what happened the last time I did see her. We were driving to a cemetary in late summer in Ohio to see my great aunt's grave. My dad was lost, and couldn't remember what part of the cemetary it was in... my grandmother, settled on being cranky that day, refused to tell him where it was. Finally, the combination of the heat and her stubborness got to me and I screamed at her, "You're a stupid old woman and I hate you! Why don't you just tell him where it is?" Her eyes grew dark, upset. I've never apologized for saying that, or some of the other "nice" things I said to her during that visit. And now... now all I can think of is how she probably died thinking her grandaughter hated her and was glad she was dying.

When I was little, she was my favorite person in the world. She'd take me out for ice cream when she visited, go "boy hunting" (a little inside joke between the two of us), and tell me interesting stories about her life and what my dad was like when he was little. I loved her. I still do. I just hope that in the end, despite my lack of communication, she realized that.
Hmmm..parallels.

I'm sitting here, wondering how and the hell I'm gonna get the gas money to run across to the other coast at five in the morning. I'm waiting on my brother's phone call to tell me to book it over, that the time has become dire. We almost lost her last May, but she hasn't eaten in two weeks. Shortly I know, maybe tonight, I will lose my only remaining grandparent.

My mom's mom. Gran. Capricorn. Crass, vulgar, mean old Gran. Who always snuck me a piece of See's divinity candy when I got my ass beat as a child. She saw her 93rd birthday December 26th....70 years and six months exactly older than me.

Her mind's been lost to us for about eight years now. I used to spend the summers taking care of her with Agie. Agie. My real mom in my head. We lost her two summers ago, five days before my birthday. I'm not scared for Gran, they'll take care of each other.

I'm twenty-two. All of my family is ages older than me. I'm tired of losing people. I can't even cry anymore. I just tuck myself into the bottom of the couch and wait for the panic to pass.

Sorry if anything you guys do down here on earth doesn't seem to matter to me. I'm not impressed, I'm not even moved. My mind is elsewhere and has been for some time.

I love you, Gran. And I'll set your daughter straight if it really is the last thing I do. I know you'd like that.

Frank, you missed meeting her.

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