The title and time of year would lead one to think that this will be a post full of reverie for color-changing leaves and the cool breezes that mark the end of another Southern California summer.
I might wax poetic about the onset of Autumn, and how Fall always stirs my blood, invigorates my dreams, and truly excites me.
OR I could, of course, elaborate on how my new life with my love is blossoming and morphing into a reality unlike any I've ever experienced before.
But that is not the point and purpose of this post...
I will instead take this moment to remember My Grandmother.
-the one who played mini-golf with me, the summer I stayed a week in Winston-Salem.
-the one who chuckled at my too tight Jordache jeans, which made it impossible for me to bend over enough to retrieve my golf ball.
-the one who fixed large bowls of ice cream for us both, so that we might sit and bond over the daily episode of "She-Ra: Princess of Power".
It's been a very VERY long time since those memories were an acutality, and since that long ago day, much water has passed under the bridge that pointed to our differences, and not our connection. She is an older Southern woman, with husband and children, ensconsed safely in her house in North Carolina. I am a single female, scattered about various Los Angeles locations, living life friviously, with (until recently) only cats to keep me company. She holds to tradition and security. I look forward towards opportunities, and don't wish to settle for less than I want. I don't think I fully qualify as "the black sheep" of the family... but I'm certainly the one who is "not like the others."
Still, that all seems small and inconsequential today, for as my life blooms with chance and bubbles with opportunity, my grandmother's is coming to a close. She's fought cancer for 24 years, and doctors said that a 5th round of chemo is just not an option. The last MRI showed a tumor in the front lobes of her brain that is as inoperable as it is deadly. She sleeps, most likely to never wake again, in a hospital bed on the other side of the country. And my father, bless him, sits at her side, watching her through the night.
At this time, as we draw closer to the cross-quarter and the veil grows thinner, I will light my candle and wish her spirit safe travels. I honor her strength, and I cherish the woman who vacuumed religiously and worshiped sun-tanning, whose blue eyes danced when she chuckled, and whose laughter will always have a place in my heart.