Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Manic Panic!

Well, not really. But do you remember that brand of nail polish? Are they still in business?

I have been feeling really off today, from wanting to sleep in and stay in bed all day with my head under the covers, to being late for work, to being overly sensitive about just about everything.

Then I remembered: tomorrow would be my great aunt's 83rd birthday.

I've posted about her before, if you care to read more about the greatest woman I have ever met. It is a privilege to share her DNA.

It has been a year and a half - longer actually - after a nasty and quick bout with cancer took her. None of us thought her body would give in while her mind was still sharp. In April, she was feeling like she had flu; in August, she was gone.

I still think, "Oh, I've got to call Aunt Marie..."

I still see neat socks and think about sending them to her.

I still see flowers blooming and want to write her, an amazing gardener, about them.

I still cry and want her shoulder.

She was the only member of my family who had no bad side, who never got angry, who never made me feel bad about myself at any point in my life.

In my most difficult moments I turned to her - older, conservative, unchanging - and she loved me, younger, liberal, swearing, brash, opinionated, ungrateful.

I became grateful. She became one of my best friends.

She has come to me in dreams, several times.

The other night, after a mild anxiety attack about stupid stuff at work, what finally enabled me to sleep was imagining what she'd say if I could talk to her.

I miss the hell out of her, guys.


Anonymous said...

When you have someone who has touched your life like that, missing them never seems to go away. My grandfather has been dead for almost 16 years and I still miss him as much as the day he died. He was also the first grandparent to die.

My other grandfather is dead too but I don't really miss him since I tried to avoid him when he was alive. He was an asshole... for most of his life until towards the end when he sort of lost most of his marbles. Still, he was an asshole for most of his life so he stays in the asshole category.. Sorry, just because someone's dead doesn't mean that history should be rewritten and the dead should sound great if they weren't when alive. The history books didn't change it for Hitler and I'm not doing it for that grandpa.

Anyway..... whenever I fly back to the midwest, I always visit my grandpa's grave. (The good one... not the asshole... he's further west and why would I visit a dead guy when I didn't visit him when he was alive?)
Even if I'm just talking to a headstone, it makes me feel a little bit closer to him.... like he's only six feet away... no but seriously, I do feel closer to him. Still would prefer it if he were alive so I could play a good round of cards with him.

Fireblossom said...

Yup, anniversaries like that can be hard. I slump every February for a similar reason.

The opening reminds me that I used to do my nails ALL the time, and I think I've done them exactly once in the past year. I can't even remember the name of my favorite shade, just that it was something like Try And Stop Me or like that. Omg....do you think I've gone butch? (lonnnng echoing scream) I had better attend to the claws before I lose my femme card!

pheromone girl said...

I still want to know why we get so few of those in our lifetimes - the people who accept us no matter what, love us despite our differences and support us no matter how stupid we're being.

You know the ones who give and give and put up with our shit? Or like unrelated sisters, separated at birth, who find each other some 30-odd years into life?

There are so many parts of you like her, it's astounding. Except the cussing, of course!!

Happy Birthday, Aunt Marie. We're taking good care of your girl down here.

Riot Kitty said...

PM: Thank you for the laugh! All of my grandparents are alive, and I have an asshole grandfather, too :)

FB: Now I must go look for Manic Panic polish...I never do nails, just toes.

PG: This is the second time in two days you have almost made me cry!

Thanks everyone.

Scarlet said...

Unconditional love is priceless, and she showed that to you, and so much more. Wow! I read your 2007 post and had tears in my eyes.

Rarely do you meet people in life who touch you so deeply, who are there for you, encouraging you and teaching you things because they geniunely love and care for you.

Funny, the way you describe your aunt is the way I'd probably describe you if I met you. I think you show lots of support and encouragement to those people you come in contact with, on or offline.

PS - No, I don't remember Manic Panic, but if I see it somewhere, I'll buy it...just for giggles.

LL Cool Joe said...

It's just so cool you had someone in your life like that, and I'm so sorry she's gone.

Special people like her don't come along too often do they?

I've never heard of Manic Panic, but it sounds a bit like my lifestyle!

Coby said...

The nice thing is she will always be with you as long as you remember!

Riot Kitty said...

Coby: A very good point :)

Scarlet, you are too sweet!

Joey: Right there with you...although I guess mine is more like "Fucking Manic Panic!"

JLee said...

I'm so sorry, RK. It's funny how things like grief return from time to time. I think you still CAN talk to her, just not in the same way :)