soundsdelicious

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2007 at 10:57 pm
“So,” she said, moving away, “now you know how
badly someone wanted you, Charlie. Children
forget that sometimes. They think of themselves
as a burden instead of a wish granted.”


She straightened and smoothed her coat. I
wanted to cry. A wish granted? How long had
it been since anyone referred to me as anything
close to that? I should have been ashamed of
how I’d turned my back on life.

“Chick”- For One More Day – Mitch Albom.

I’m home.

TODAY I SPENT THE DAY in a cramped waiting room of Temple hospital for eight hours waiting for my Grandmother’s surgery to be done. For eight hours, I’d glance up every other sentence to see if the doctor was standing at the door. For eight hours I racked my brain on death, life, family, love, emotions all the above. For eight hours I felt like I was going to have a panic attack and I in fact did around the third hour.

“My Jamie.”

I’m twenty, but I get mistaken for sixteen often. My frame is small, my clothes are big for me from a recent weight loss, like a preschooler walking around in her mother’s heels. I pull my hands into my sleeves, creating a ball in my fist as I watch her nervously. She’s older then she’s ever been, but her lips still turn up in a smile, her hands still reach out for my face.
_______________

“Jamie’s coming to visit before you go into surgery tomorrow.”
I can hear my mother, it’s not hard.
“Mom..”
She pauses, listening.
“Don’t get yourself upset.”
Another pause.
“Now calm down. Stop crying, mom. She’ll be there tomorrow to see you.”

“Mhm, I’ll tell her. No, I don’t want to put her on the phone, you’ll just crying more. We’ll see you tomorrow. I love you. Bye.”
She hangs up. My mother was watching me through the conversation, my expression not changing through the whole thing. She’s taught me well how to be so stoic on the outside.
My mother informs me: “She told me not to be so hard on you.”
_______________

“You’re home?”
“Yes.”
“Good. Your mother missed you.”
My mom steps out of the room to take a call.
“Do you hurt?”
My cheek flutters a little at the question.
“Well, a little. It’ll get worse as the day goes on.”
“What are they doing for you?”
“Just blood tests for now.”
“You’ll be okay.”
I nod.
“Your mother missed you.”
“I know.”
“How are things?”
My grandfather is intently watching us talk as though we’re mimes. His hearing was lost with the glass factor many years ago, just as my father’s.
“Better.”
She nods, reaching out to me again for me to give her another kiss. Her lips are always warm and soft, whether she was sick or healthy. This might be a funny observation about my grandmother, but it’s always been that way. In my family we kiss on the lips. Mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins.. if we kiss it’s on the lips. Somehow this is important in understand us.

She asked me, “Do you hurt?” Shouldn’t I be asking that question? Isn’t this the obligatory spot for any family member to take, fake or sincere. Selfless. She didn’t care I forgot her, that I often do. That I drive past her house to go to and from work every afternoon, never to stop just to say hello, to ask how they’re doing. In that waiting room I realized I didn’t deserve her love, so why am I still receiving it? Perhaps it’s a dept of a family, a old hidden secret, that I’m too young yet to understand.

I’m five, my cousin isn’t old enough to walk yet this is why I know how old I am, with a wooden spoon in my hand she uses to make her spaghetti sauce. I’m wielding it like a baton as I tramp through her living room. My only aspiration in life is to be the person who leads the marching band, who to this day I still don’t know the proper name. I’ll plop myself down at her feet as she’s doing dishes from dinner, pressing my cheek against the threadbare rugs she refuses to get rid of even to this day.

“Nanny, can I bang the pots.”
“Just don’t break my spoon.”

My earliest & my favorite memory of that house.

I’m the only granddaughter of five girls. My cousins, two boys, are nothing like my family. They’re my grandfather. They’re Irish. Tall frames, fair curly haired, bright blue eyes, tan and stocky Irish frame. They’re both football players. Me? I’m small. Just about the size of my grandmother (five foot), fleshy, fair skinned, dark chestnut hair with matching eyes.. I’m my grandmother, I’m Polish.

I’ve always been the apple of my grandparents eyes. The sole girl in the family with no competition for their hearts. From the day I was born, I was their favorite. My mother has told me the story over & over again, but it makes for a good opening to my life. My grandmother was visiting her cousins in Washington state, who have long since passed, the day I was born. I was supposed to be born on her birthday, but for once in my life I was early and was born on the sixteenth not the twenty-eighth. My grandfather took her to the horse races that morning where she bet on a horse named, “Jamie’s Early”. The horse won paying out $7.08, I believe, which was the weight I was born. I can imagine my grandmother crying dramatically, my grandfather grinning ear to ear as they both though.. the finally got a granddaughter.

From that day on, I was their favorite & my grandmother will tell you any chance she gets. “I’d take ten girls to one boy.” My grandfather always says this, today was no exception. He told me once I was his favorite, which is a lot coming from an old Irishman.

When I was in college, I once wrote…

A family is where most people turn to when the world turns their back on them..

When I think of the word family I think of brawny, Greek inspired pillars holding up a heavy burden of white marble slabs. Each pillar, in my mind, is a person while each marble slab is a problem that life holds for those people. Families have stood against the test of time, the most important test. Through history families have braced against hardships such as slavery, the holocaust, revolutions, storms, catastrophes, genocide to come out the other side holding the hand or the heart of a memory of a family member.

One might think that with an image of family so strong I would be close to my family, but I’m not. A lot of my time during holidays and family outings is spent yearning for the attention of my family. In our family puzzle, I’m the extra piece.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: