Sunday, April 21, 2019

Grieving for the Future

It's been a beautiful Easter weekend in my neck of the words.  The sun has been shining, the grass is finally looking green, and the temperatures are almost making me forget that never-ending winter we just finished.

It's also been giving me flashbacks to some of my childhood Easter memories, which mostly involve my grandparents.  When we were little, my Grandma Betty would buy us these frilly Easter dresses that were usually made from fabric printed with giant flowers.  (Some years she even got the white hats and gloves.)  She'd take us to church with her or we'd go with our parents. Then we'd end up out at her house later that afternoon for a big meal that always included ham (my favorite) and an egg hunt in her giant backyard.

The egg hunt, while super fun for my sisters and I, always seemed to result in fighting between my Grandparents.  Grandma Betty prided herself on keeping things EVEN between her three girls, and Grandpa inevitably would forget where he hid some of the eggs... which would result in her yelling at him when we didn't have the same number of prizes at the end of the hunt.

(Side note: He'd usually find the missing plastic eggs a few weeks later when he ran over them with his riding lawn mower and shot pink plastic scraps across the yard.  Ha!)

Now, I'm not naive.  I know that even if they were still alive, we wouldn't have been able to recreate the Easter from my childhood.  And I'm so happy I have those memories of my grandparents stored away in my head.  But, if I'm being honest... I've been grieving a little bit recently.

An essay I wrote was published in an anthology last week.  I wish I could share that news with my Grandma Betty.  She'd be, to use her words, "just tickled." And while part of me really wants to believe that she is still able to watch over us and be part of our special moments, it's not the same as being able to talk with her.

I would have loved to give her a copy of the book and listened to her praise my essay.  I would have loved to see the look on her face when she read another contributor's essay about yelling at a nun or the one about kissing a pig.  I am so curious if she would have stumbled over the word "transgender" in one of the other essays, and if we might have had a conversation about it. I think it would have been an awkward conversation, but maybe she would have surprised me.

It struck me that I do quite a bit of this "grieving for the future."  I grieve for the future moments that my grandparents won't be there for.  I grieve for the future moments that my friends who died way too young aren't going to experience.

What do you do with those feelings?  I don't pretend to have all the answers.

But, as far as the anthology and my Grandma?  I'm going to donate a copy to her local library. I'm pretty sure she would have been "tickled" about that too.

Like this?  Then you'll love my essay "Mrs. Norton's Daughter" in WILL WORK FOR APPLES, the latest in the New York Times best-selling I JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE anthology series.  

Click here to get your copy today!

No comments:

Post a Comment