Tonight is Maman’s last night.
It’s also my Granny Charlotte’s Birthday. Right now, right this very moment, actually.
Her twin brother was born almost an hour earlier. Interesting she actually was close to having a different birthday from her own twin.
I miss my grandmother. A lot.
She was the one person, outside of Brother, that I felt so so connected to as a child.
I would add Maman in there, but she doesn’t count — parents belong in a whole other category all their own.
I knew, even as a five year old, that my grandmother had been with me many other times, in many other lives. When she died, I was not sad.
I think sadness is something we learn as children … because have you ever noticed, children are not inherently sad or focused on the sadness?
It’s a behavior, an observation, that we to some extent inevitably take on. It’s impossible not to do so.
I’m definitely more sad now about her death than I was back in the day. It’s the kind of sad where it’s because I wish I had her to call up … to know her as a person.
Not as my grandmother through a child’s perspective.
Remember that? Do you remember how as the young babies we were, we had no idea that our parents and grandparents and other adults had lives?
That they, too, were their very own person.
I can recall the spring afternoon so clearly, when I first realized that Maman was not just Maman. She was a person. With feelings and wants and a whole life that maybe I didn’t know about.
We were sitting outside in the backyard. I was running around, and found myself face to face with, what she assured me, was your average garden snake.
She started telling me a story about when she was a teenager of finding a snake similar to that one … and it hit head on … Maman was a girl once like me.
Then she became older. Did things. Saw things.
What sorts of things?
I still don’t know.
No matter how close we may feel and are with someone, there’s always a part, even if it’s infinitesimally small, that is kept hidden.
Maybe we need to keep this … this little part of ourselves. Some thing … for us to hold onto that can stay our own.
Some memory or maybe something we’re ashamed of, or maybe something of inconsequential standards.
But it’s that thing that we keep. That makes us us, not a “we”, not a Maman or a dad, or a sister or a brother or lover or friend.