I wrote the following in my book:
"Grandma died this week. On Friday the 13th of September, 2002. Her funeral was held on September 17th. She wore a purple fuzzy soft warm robe. I read the following poem for her:
Turn Again to Life
Mary Lee Hall
If I should die and leave you here a while,
be not like others sore undone,
who keep long vigil by the silent dust.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand
to do something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
and I perchance may therein comfort you.
"My grandmother always took care of others. I will miss her very much. Also... I made Grandma's carrot cake for the gahtering after the funeral. It turned out PERFECTLY!"
It did, you know - turn out perfectly. That cake was incredible, just like my grandma Virginia (Ginny) used to make. Not a day has gone by since September of 2002 that I have not thought about my grandma. I miss her so much. It is a living thing, grief. It's physical and riles up at the oddest moments. The other day I was taking a break from shopping at a department store. I sat on one of the oversized chairs in the furniture department, and heard the voice of an older woman coming from the purchase desk. I turned, and there was my grandma - for about 5 seconds it was really her. Then I snapped back to reality and was awash in sadness that was hard to shake for the rest of the afternoon. The sadness was worth the 5 seconds though.
What made my grandma so special? I don't know... she was kind, and she took care of people who couldn't take care of themselves. She was a great cook - the old-fashioned kind of cook who made pie crust from scratch and served wilted lettuce salad as a healthy option. She embriodered beautiful tablecloths and pillowcases and tea towels that I still cherish and use. She smoked unfiltered Chesterfield Kings cigarettes that she would leave burning all over the house. She drank alot of coffee and Coke. She read incessantly. She loved to fish. She would sing these silly songs to me as she bounced and danced around her kitchen. She loved me, and I love her. And I would give a lifetime of sadness for 5 seconds more.
I wrote the following quotes on this same page in my book:
"When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted."
"This must be my birthday there in paradise."
Joseki's death poem