Paint the town, Olive.

It’s important to know who your friends are.

Gram was my best friend. She was a strong, tough & spunky little juggernaut of a woman who always seemed to make me laugh. Dad said I should drive straight to Portland if I wanted to see her one last time. I did. It was pouring for the majority of the trip, the rain only holding off for brief moments and finally wilting off once I was past Kennebunk. I wanted to drive straight to the hospital. I wanted to scream something like visiting hours don’t apply to Ryno! But I went home- went to bed, worried that I was going to miss my chance to see her. But I was too tired to keep my eyes open any longer and if anything, I wanted to shave before I saw her.

I had never been to that part of the hospital, the part where it’s quiet except for the beeps and shuffling of feet. Gram was watching some dude on TV with thick, dyed black hair. She said he had been saved. She was very interested, although I’m not too sure how much of the dude’s program she heard. Her legs looked very small under the blankets and the back of her hair was matted down with sweat but she looked great. She had that spark in her eye, despite how faded it might have appeared. I told her that I wasn’t sure what Kim was doing with a dude like me and she laughed, never once letting go of my hand for the first ten minutes I was there.

Gram was falling asleep- I didn’t want to leave. I knew that from the moment I left the hospital I’d be fearing every time Mom or Dad called. But I finally did leave and I said goodbye, told her I’d see her soon. I didn’t want to make a big deal about any of it. She knew, I knew. But it’s fun to pretend everything is awesome when it’s not sometimes.

It hasn’t sunk in yet and a good part of me refuses to believe she’s gone. Her number is still in my phone even though it’s disconnected. Do I take it out, erase it? Inventors of cellphones probably never thought of these problems. An app that knew when to gracefully remove the deceased phone numbers from your phone would be nice. Gram alive would be nice. Good weather on Saturday would be really nice.

Sunny and 40 degrees will do as long as we have drinks at the luncheon after.

But goodnight, Gram. You will always be amazing and you will always be my number 1. It will be hard not seeing you wave your little hand at me- whether it’s from the pilot house of the Machigonne or one of the pews at church on Christmas Eve. I don’t know when we got so close, but I’m so goddamn happy it happened. Somethings you don’t question, you don’t ask why or how. All I know is that at some point, about ten years ago, Gram and I grew close and I had the best Gram in the world.

That’s all that matters.

Love you Gram. Say hi to Gramp for me.

Categories: Life Lessons


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