There’s been more life packed into the last month than the last year as a whole. September is usually an exciting month due to my birthday appearing right in the middle. My grandfather’s birthday happens to be the day after mine. This has always been comical because the day I was born he asked my mother, “you couldn’t wait a day?”
My grandfather passed away on September 15th, hitting all of us pretty hard as it wasn’t expected. My grandmother asked me to be one of the two that would escort her at the church/cemetery – she’s at a point where walking isn’t that easy. This was definitely an honor. My grandmother has always had a special place with me and sitting alone with her in the front of the church as person-after-person spoke of my grandfather was a strong experience. I’m not much for tears, but she definitely got a few out of me. She was kind enough to whisper whimsical comments about my grandfather as I began to choke up – I think she was there more for my benefit.
The funeral meant I needed to return to Utah and my dad was nice enough to cover the ticket. Fortunate, because I didn’t have the cash on hand for a last minute flight. I did notice that there are no longer photos of me in his house. In fact, the few that were there have been pulled from their frames and replaced. This struck me because it’s as if the memory of me is being eradicated. You would think my living 2,000 miles away would be enough.
After all of this business I returned to the city only to discover my building had a bed bug outbreak. That meant everything had to go in the trash. Five large bags of clothing, furniture, books and piles of work papers. I did uncover the closest thing I’ll ever have to a love letter while rummaging through the items that needed to be discarded. On my 20th birthday my boyfriend at the time was well aware of my displeasure for Utah living. I was unhappy not living in the city and he put together a birthday that allowed me to pretend I was in New York even though it was a distant and unobtainable dream. Definitely one of the presents to keep forever even though the two of us only lasted a short time and moved in opposite directions.
The death of my grandfather makes me worry about the future of my grandmother and how long she will be with us. I’m not prepared to handle that day that she is not. Bed bugs are an endless battle but I am armed with plenty of toxic products to fight them! As for the letter it brings out my cynicism and in a sick way reinforces my dating thought process and reminds me how I arrived here.