Indelible Marks and Imprints

One of V’s latest posts reminded me of the importance of attitude (and perspective).  The archetypal significance associated with that of womanhood and “hair” has been indelibly inscribed on my heart forever.  I want to share some of my memories with you in the form of an abstract poem.  This is a poem of multiplicity.  It is a tribute to one of the strongest women that I have ever encountered on this planet…my grandmother.

Part 1 – Spring

And there they walk, hand in hand.  The memory drifts into consciousness as that ribbon unwinds itself from the Eternal Timepiece of her mind.  Two sets of foot-prints are set upon that lonely stretch of beach; one large, confident and straight and the other small and meandering.  The great Northern lake sends waves to lap against their feet on that warm summer day.  The child stops and bends to pick up first one stone, then another.  She offers these treasures to her Grandmother.  A tangled piece of driftwood is taken in hand and cradled.  Sunshine glinting off of waves.  Smiles, laughter.  A ribbon of eternity winds around that perfect timepiece. 

Part 2 – Summer

Pansies.  Blue, dark violet, yellow and white.  Irises.  Dark blue and poised stately.  Dusty miller plants with their soft, velvety leaves.  “Come, let me show you the garden,” she would chime as I walked through her door.  Interested, disinterested, the young girl distracted.  “But, I need to get ready for the dance,” the young girl would say as she twirled her hair and walked up the path.  This will be important one day, and you know this as Truth (that wise voice inside the girl spoke).  So attentively, her eyes absorbed the colours, the scents, the wonder and mystery of The Garden.  Grandmother smiled.  Love beaming.  Warmth and hugs.

Part 3 – Fall

Studies.  Dissections and classes with books.  She sits at her computer.  She is distracted.  A phonecall disrupts her session of self-imposed restriction.  “What?”  “When?”  “How?” and most importantly “WHY?”  The young woman slumps in her chair.  Tears stream down her face.  Rivulets.  “I will visit at Thanksgiving,” she sobs into the phone, “and I hope to see her then.”  That metaphorical scalpel began to slice it’s way into her heart.  Sadness and helplessness festered in her day to day world.  Thoughts of anatomy, physiology replaced with fear, memories.  The water lapping.  Sunshine glinting.  Soft warm hugs.  Pansies of blue, dark violet and white.  Cancer.

Part 4 – Winter

The white walls.  Sterility of that room.  A frail body lying upon a hospital bed.  “Just a minute!” sounds a weak, but determined voice from within it’s walls.  Footsteps stop.  Anxious I wait before entering the room.  From the corner of my eye, I see her struggle to place the hair.  Once strawberry-blonde, now ashen-grey and synthetic.  She adjusts and smoothes the piece atop her head.  “Ok, come in…!” she chimes weakly to her guests.  Pride and determination on her face as she watches me walk towards her.  There is a loving, but defiant smile upon her face.  Her sweet Lady face.  Hot tears.  I am choking on hot tears.  “But, you are beautiful I say”, as I move towards her and hug her wasted frame.  I feel the tendrils of her disease like insiduous roots inside of her.  “You are beautiful.”

[My Grandmother died later that year – just before Christmas (winter of 2003)]

*** 

Dear Grandma (or Grammy as she was commonly called), 

I was so happy that I had that chance to see you one last time before your soul moved on from this Earthly realm.  You call your final resting place Heaven, I call it the Spirit World.  You have always been a very strong symbol of strength in my life.  I wish I could have told you this sooner.  Your unwavering spiritualism and devotion to God, inspired me to seek my own path towards the Light.  Even as you lay in a weakened state in that hospital bed, I sensed your courage, your elegance and your poise.  You have, and always will be, a true Lady to me.  We *lost* you, knowing and hoping, that you would be safe in the hands of your beloved saints and angels.  And, for the record Dear Lady…Pansies are one of my favourite flowers and I adore the number “3”.  I love you.

-PM

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7 responses to “Indelible Marks and Imprints

  1. I’ve been rendered speechless. My own tears here. Thank you.

    Hi Doll. I shed a river of tears this afternoon – during, and after writing this. And you know…the funny thing about the tears that I shed – I imagined them dripping onto (and nourishing) all of those flowers…pansies, irises….Your tears are nourishing too. Thank you, Dear Soul, for making your way here today – to share this with me – in spirit and mind…xoxo

  2. Are all grandmothers that wonderful or are we just the lucky ones?

    Your poem captured the grandmother/granddaughter relationship perfectly.

    My grandmother was my soul mate, my encourager, my champion, Every good thing that I became I can directly link back to my grandma. Her unconditional love, her belief in me. She believed I was beautiful inside and out and never missed the chance to let me know that.

    We were truly blessed to have such amazing women in our lives.

    Hi V! I tried posting your comment last night – but my blog was “administrating itself?” Anyways…thank you. I think that there is a special grandmother-granddaughter relationship, isn’t there? Your grandmother sounds like she was a wonderful soul. It sounds as though she inspired you and truly helped to shape you into the strong and amazing person that you are today! Reflecting back upon my grandmother now…I can see so many things that I never saw before – one thing in particular was her healing ability. She was a light and energy worker (although she used the “laying on of hands” method of practise in a religious sense). Until a few months ago, I disregarded it as quackery. I didn’t understand that she was an energy conduit at the time. But, in her presence, the world seemed to move a little slower…it had more meaning…she breathed life into everything she touched. A trail of light followed her wherever she went. And you know…the funny thing…I feel her presence in my life now, more than ever. She permeates my healing core, she centres and guides me…It is a wonderful feeling.

    Hugs and love to you sister. xoxo. Thank you for sharing your grandmother’s spirit with me (grandmother’s truly are the “keepers” of the Goddess spirit…).

  3. You are both so wonderfully blessed! 🙂 Both of my grandmothers – in fact, all of my grandparents – had passed over long before I was born so I never knew them. I remember envying the other kids in the ‘hood who had them…seems like Grandma and Grandpa never showed up without presents and hugs and special times together 🙂 My own kids were very blessed to have all of their grandparents, however – and it’s been a wonderful experience. Just Sunday, my mom (75), myself (50) and my daughter (20) had the best time together… these are the moments that are the true riches of life!

    Love to you both and thank you for sharing the gift of your grandmothers with us who never knew that special bond….

    Hi Beautiful! Perhaps your “not having grandparents” in your life allowed you to see your own parents as a gift to your children. It is amazing how we take certain people for granted sometimes, and I think grandparents are no exception, unfortunately. I am so happy that your children were able to experience their grandparents. So many of their memories as adults will be fondly remembered (as you have seen with my post here…). Really. Grandparents, be they male or female are the real patriarchs and matriarchs of families…

    How wonderful too, that you, your daughter, and your mother were able to bond as “sisters!” Wow. I know what that feels like too. A few years ago…for my great-grandmother’s 85th Birthday celebration…we had a girl-picture taken…four generations of womanhood in that photo…(myself, my mother, her mother and my grandmother’s mother). Wow…that had to have been about 180 years of life experience right there…in that room! Remarkable to think of it that way, isn’t it?

    Thank you for sharing your grandmother and woman-hood story with us/me Grace. I am so happy that, despite the absence of grandparent figures in your life, you have shown your children the value of generations….

    Peace and love…xoxo

  4. My darling Muse,

    I’m moved beyond words – almost. Thank you so much for sharing your grandmother and your relationship with her as well. This is so touching and she sounds like a beautiful lady, as are you.

    What a wonderful sweet tribute to your grandmother. Thank you again!

    I’ve been meaning to write about my own grandmother since I started my blog but now I know I have to. It’s interesting that you mentioned her hands because that’s what I’ve been wanting to write about.

    PM, I appreciate very much the serious writing you’ve been doing lately. I can’t tell you how much I love it… perhaps it has to do with the change of scenery or have you always been writing this way?

    Much peace and love today.

    ~ RS ~

    (Come see my blog and the post I posted yesterday if you get a chance – it’s activism but it’s really just a request to write about something. Many thanks.)

    Ruby…I am so glad that you stopped by today. You have no idea what your kind words mean to me sometimes (or, maybe, perhaps you do…). Your words ring clear, honest and true. They have spirit and strength and they reflect the strong person that you have/are becoming. Thank you for your comments.

    You know…just a bit more about this piece before we talk about your dear grandmother…Yesterday, after I wrote it, I realised that it was about 4 years ago to this very day that I found out about her diagnosis. Perhaps there was some pain caught up in some cyclic memory-like loop that became entwined in my psyche. I don’t know. But, as painful as it was to feel this…I needed the release.

    I really do want to hear about your grandmother Ruby. Please tell us what she was like…perhaps you could weave an intimate story or a fond remembrance of her too…Her hands…I want to hear all about her hands…

    And…as far as my writing goes. Let’s suffice to say that the change in scenery has done this heart and mind some good (although I have been writing for a while – the subjects are a little more mature, meaningful, and more reflective of me – as a person). Perhaps that is my new perspective (I have to thank you again for that post of yours on perspective…it literally helped to rekindle and refurbish that outlook of mine…).

    I will get to that post on writing and activism. Thank you for thinking about me in that regard. Writing can certainly make a difference.

    I love you Roobs. Know that. xoxo

  5. This was so beautiful, Muse. I have no other words, except those – they make me miss my grandmothers very much and sad there wasn’t more time…I think many of us lose our grandparents long before we have a chance to fully embrace and appreciate them. I know I did.

    Hi Doll! I hope you are feeling better today!? This was a very difficult post to write (the words came easily…but the feeling…the pain…when I wrote it was almost too much – I almost didn’t post it). I guess the words just needed to be released. Yes. I think grandparents are precious. We can only hope that they are discovered, loved and embraced “before” it’s too late…

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your week! I miss you! xoxo

  6. I missed you too! Yes, I’m back in action again, baby. A vacation day awaits me tomorrow so I’ve been hanging onto that thought like grim death this week as I slogged my way through working whilst sick. But I also needed a break from the blogging world for a few days, which I know you can absolutely understand and relate to. Feels good to be reenergized!

  7. wow! being a (proud) grandmother, this has, quite simply put, gobsmacked me!
    so touching, so beautiful…
    there are few who can reduce me to tears with a post in the blog world…i’ll be back to read this again and again and again for the simple, yet beautiful sentiment you have captured…
    i can but hope this is how mine will think of me, both while i’m here and after i’m gone….

    Crap, and it took me this long to find and comment to your comment A-mum. Hope you’ve made your way back to this post a time or two. Thank you for your words….

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