I Remember.

I remember, maybe first of all, my grandmother’s voice. She would make cassette tapes narrating a book of photos for me as a little kid, and even though we lived thousands of miles away in a different country, through the tapes I got to know her voice.

I remember that she always made me feel special – very, very special. I remember the feeling that she lived for me. When I got older – much older – I realized that this was part of what she brought to the world: she made people feel very special. It was the warmth of her intense, embracing love.

I remembering watching her start a book company with my grandfather, while they were building a house together. There was never any question if something was possible; the world was available to you – for you to pursue your dreams. She was fierce in her love – and fierce in her achievements.

And of course I remember her wheelchair. The amazing thing is that for a woman who spent 52 years in a wheelchair, I never thought of her as constrained in any way. She taught me about how accessible the world was: anything I put my mind to, I can realize.

When I was in college, she sent me a porcelain figure of a grandmother angel. She threatened to cause some serious trouble unless I placed it some place where she could “watch” me. I’ve carried it with me for ten years, always careful to place some place where she can watch me.

I just loved her so much. The fierce way she loved me – it feels like a fire I can have, a fire of love I can have for others, if I cultivate and encourage it.

She was the most powerful person I have ever known, and it was a power fueled by sheer determination and will – and by a deep, intimate love.

She died in her sleep the morning of December 3, 2006, and I’ve thought about her every day since she died. I know she’s up there praying for me, whispering encouragement in my ears.

2 Responses to “I Remember.”

  1. mhmele Says:

    Thank you, Nicco. Reading this is balm on my own grief. mh

  2. As If It Matters » Blog Archive » Considering the Future Says:

    […] My beloved grandmother died about eight weeks ago, and for a few days after her death I had a clearness, a sense of clarity, that seems to frequently elude me. In my short life I’ve had a few people close to me die, and I’ve been near scenes of terrible tragedy, and each time a special sort of clarity descends. It’s as if the world feels the loss and suspends daily life in mourning. […]

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