I'm not sure how to start this post. I'd love to come in with a bang, with something über poetic, but I don't quite have it in me at the moment.
Maybe the title is a good enough lead in.
I grew up in a creative family. Writers and artists cluttered both my parents' sides of the family. Seriously, sometimes when I google "quotes about writing" I find lists with multiple relatives on them. That's a different blog post though, because today I'm writing about my grandmother. Nana.
As a child, I couldn't wait to hang out with Nana. I loved going to her house--her street was lined with Weeping Willows, which I grew up calling Rainbow Trees. I loved splashing around in her neighborhood pool in the summer and the way she'd make me hot cocoa in the winter. But what I really loved was to hear about whichever new book she was writing.
She's published several books. Nothing you've ever heard of, I'm sure, because she wrote them in a different age, in a completely different publishing world. But that's not the point. This is:
That she could run blank pieces of paper through her typewriter and--using nothing more than her creativity and some ink--pull them back out full of stories and characters absolutely amazed me. I wanted to do the exact same thing.
So enter me, at who knows how young, with a spiral notebook and pencil in hand, writing furiously. Poems. Short stories. Beginnings to novels. I'd write until my fingers went numb. One Christmas, I gave everyone in my family a short horror story I'd written. Another time, a booklet of poems. From those first few words--from that first moment I realized I could create something too--I was hooked. It's all thanks to Nana.
But last week, she had a massive stroke. She's unable to eat or drink, unable to respond to much of anything with the exception of a gentle hand squeeze here or there. And she's not expected to live through the next few days.
I find myself at a loss of what to say here, other than that my heart is breaking.
A part of me thinks it'd be easier if grief was a tangible thing. Like a strand of lace... Something I could roll into a ball and tuck away, waiting to snip a piece off here or there, in the rare moments I was ready to handle it.
The other part of me, the bigger part, knows grief is something I have to acknowledge. It's not a strand of lace. It may be just as intricate, but it's far from being as delicate--so maybe lace is the wrong metaphor altogether. Maybe it's more like a lump of heavy lead, similar to the one I currently feel sitting in my stomach. Or like a steel trap, to account for the one drawing tighter and tighter around my ribs.
In any case, I guess my point is that grief isn't something I can shove in a drawer and pretend isn't there. So, I'm facing it as best I can. I'll be taking a bit of a break from the blog to spend time with family and to sit with Nana for as many days as I have left with her.
I hope you all have a great month--and don't take anything for granted because you never know what will happen tomorrow.