Today is a day, if you believe such things, that the veils are thin and we can remember the ones we’ve lost, the ones who have passed on before us. I only set up a tiny DDLM altar this year, because I am worried about the kittens. A few skully things, some pictures of the people I want to remember.
Digging through the box, I found a picture of my friend Lisa. It was really a jolt. I’d forgotten I’d put the picture in the box of memento mori, but of course I did because she was on the altar last year. And this is why I do the altar, finding that picture, the point is to remember.
Lisa, I will remember you. You will always have a place with me. You will always be one of mine. There is no chance in hell that you could possibly be forgotten, even if I didn’t put you there, so many people loved you, but I just wanted to say that I too, remember. I wish you weren’t gone. You are very missed, lady. And always will be.
Hard to pick just the right picture of Grandma. I want to remember her, but I wish, god I wish so much that she weren’t there. 94 years, a sundae and a kitty cat aside, I want her here with me.
Grandma, you were the one person on this planet who gave me unconditional love from the day I was born to the day you died. I never had to worry about not being perfect, I could be absolutely myself with you and you never faulted me, never thought I was weird or bad or not ok. With so many people, I live in fear of discovery. I catch myself trying to keep them happy and behave in ways that will do that, I try to anticipate and placate and not rock the boat. I don’t know where I got so fearful but I did somewhere along the line. With you, I was never afraid. I was never worried. I never tried to gauge your mood or worried about a misstep. I knew that I could never step wrong with you. It is only now as an adult that I begin to confront my fearful life that I realize what an amazing thing that is that you gave me. With you, I was never afraid.
You were pure love with beautiful silver hair pinned back in an upsweep, a cup of tea at the ready, a drawer full of cookies to choose from. You are twined around my whole life and it has given me a foundation that is like earthquake-proof, steel-enforced stone. No matter what happens, I know that I have been loved so purely and so much for myself, that “myself” cannot be a bad person to be. I love you Grandma. I miss you. I always will. I’m crying for your loss all over again today and maybe I will every year. You were perfect and exactly who you needed to be in the world.
Oakdale Gramma, my Grandpa in Oakland, various friends along the way, they are all there. I remember Dillon Henry this year, for my daughter, he too has a place on the altar and I know that for his family and friends he will never be forgotten.
Tonight I will sit in my ghetto apartment and I will spin. My own children will have deserted our neighborhood for richer pickings in less urban surroundings. I will hand out candy (the good stuff, I never stint and it’s all chocolate) and ooh over adorable costumes worn by candy smeared kidlets and try to calm down the dog every time the doorbell rings.
But mostly? I will remember.