"You are a good grand-daughter."
These words echo in my mind as I walk home, slowly, breathing in the shrouded mist of the fog in the dark. Van Ness is a lonely, busy street, one of the streets I dislike in San Francisco’s repertoire of interesting passageways. The six lanes of traffic and cruddy sidewalks add a cacophony of bad noises to my loneliness; the contrast between the race of the cars and the patter of my footsteps always seems asyncronous somehow. In a blink, the feelings and moments before, of being with good friends and wandering and laughing - they softly disappear into the past and I am confronted with a feeling that keeps surfacing in my mind this week.
It’s dark, and I’m hesitant to cross the street, and I look fearfully both ways for cars.
I can’t help but let my happy face crumble, briefly, as I mourn in the memory of my grandmother, who’s not dead but almost gone. My heart aches - scratch that, I don’t know how to describe that, because it sounds so cliche - but little noticings in my body register the changing feelings. My posture sinks in lethargy. My hands hurt, because I don’t want to hold anything. My legs don’t feel like lifting as much. I’m done, I’m alone, and I just want my Grandpa to stop hurting.
Grandpa. He’s alone, and they’ve forbidden him from seeing my Grandmother, and I’m afraid, terribly afraid for him because I don’t know whether or not he will get through this ordeal, and he’s not gone yet. He’s here, but he’s buried under the weight of the loss of his wife, of the end of his life, of the need to make decisions he’s been putting off for so many years.
And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for writing about this, for sharing this, for talking about this. I like being a happy person, and I feel - I don’t know, I feel strange talking about this and what it means, but it’s real. And I promised myself that I would write no matter what, and that I would tell the stories no matter what, because it is. And life is. And that’s just what it is.
I leave town in 3 days to be with them. I am scared of this, I am.