Friday, August 27, 2010
Good Times in the Graveyard
Yesterday was my grandmother's birthday. And although I love Harry Potter as much as the next 40 year old with the reading level of a 12 year-old, I did not celebrate Gram's "Death Day" with a party this past spring. In my mind, she is still the funny, silly, brave, ALIVE woman whom I admire and miss so much. Not the freaky-screaming-shell who vaguely resembled my Grandma on a really bad day. So which one would I rather celebrate?
Since she has a new stone, and it was her birthday, I coaxed my kids, my mom, and my mother-in-law out to the graveyard for a little picnic. My son and I had made a chocolate cake (Gramma loved chocolate) and we all ate until we were sugar crazed. Lilah took off running around the cemetery like a banshee and Ellie trailed after her. I had been disappointed that Gramma was buried in this new cemetery - no old interesting stones, no trees, just lots and lots of empty grass and an occasional altar with beer bottles or flowers... but now I realized this was the perfect spot. I didn't have to say"be careful, don't step on...." because it was mostly empty. So go ahead and run, burn that sugar rush! Meanwhile, Alex and I built a marshmallow "cake" into the shape of a heart and I wrote on it with frosting. The ants thought they had died and gone to heaven! Maybe Waterloo Cemetery is actually the Valhalla for ants? Well, it was yesterday. And after a week of steady, dreary rain, Gramma had somehow managed to conjure up an absolutely perfect sunny, cool day.
It really was one of the nicest parties I have been to in a long time! And I was imagining that, after the sun set, a small brown bear would wander out of the trees and gobble down the remaining marshmallows. Then she'd sit herself down against the bench, with her picture on it, and have a little snooze. She'd dream about a lady with lovely smooth, pink skin, mischievous blue eyes surrounded by laugh lines, and the heart of a bear. And for that minute, the bear would wonder 'Am I a woman dreaming of being a bear, or a bear dreaming that I am a woman?' And my Grandmother would look down from where she is watching and have a good laugh.