Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Grandmother Florestine Left

I woke up early this morning feeling something was amiss. It was too early to wake up and I had gone to bed sinfully late. But, there I was looking at my watch, struggling to make sense how it could be so early when my body felt like to move, roam, run, eat, and move forward with my day. I feel a slight anxiety, an obscure excitement. The phone rings, I hear my cousin speaking from the other room where the answering machine is. I am amazed he would call me so early. I think about getting up to check but my sleeping mind cannot put together any possibly alarming scenario that would warrant depriving me of possible sleep which might come to me, which I would appreciate later in the day, like a traveler lamenting the weight of his bags but thankful for the contents later. I twist and turn. I worry about my not being able sleep. I am generally a good sleeper. Something is not right. Something, but what. I run over in my mind my day and fail to find anything that would cause me this flighty feeling.

Later when its time to get up I play the answering machine, apart from my cousin's call, there are 2 other messages on it from my uncle. He sounds very sad but does not mention why he calls. I think about my grandmother. My mind draws up an image of her in her wheel chair, thin, sad, but perhaps worse than these, she is resigned. I wanted to visit her more often but that look and the fact that she couldn't hear me stopped me from visiting as often as I wanted. She tells me about taking care of my teeth. My family reassures me that this is what she says now.

I remembered how she like to wear pants when everyone else on the island her age only wore dresses. I remember appreciating how she kept her house spare. Giving away things that took up room. All these years I had thought it was the architecture of the house that appealled to me, but having returned their later, I realized it was also the way she kept it so that air and sun could flow through. It was all simplicity and lightness. I share with her the way she liked to garden and see things grow.

For years I avoided seeing her because of some issues we had, when i returned, she was gone in a way and now she has left entirely.

I will light an candle for her tonight so that she may find her way.


  1. My condolences.

    Thank you for writing about her.

  2. Thank you Renoir girl for your comments and your condolences.

    I am always surprised at how you believe you are ready for someone who is old or sick to leave, and then when it happens, you were obviously not.

    I wish I could be like my family who are happy she has left this life in which she was losing her sight had lost most of her hearing, as well as her mobility, to enjoy something else. But at this point I just miss her.

  3. The passing of a life is such a big thing. My condolences to you, Seaurchin.

  4. Thank you Drodbar. I am comforted when I reflect that she lived her life exactly as she wanted regardless of conflict, pressure and persuasion, which is perhaps a lesson to me.

  5. Oh seaurchin, my condolences for your loss.

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  7. Thank you Meesha. It will be hard going back to the St. Barth and passing her little house but at the same time she was drifting away from us for some time, so now she has turned the corner and left entirely to begin another journey. I wish her luck and happiness.


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