As everyone knows, I had a two-hour massage before my transfer on Friday. I was so looking forward to this and it did not disappoint. I was wondering what in the world could take 2 hours to work out of my muscles, but there are still two knots that wouldn’t budge completely after an hour of work. After that hour, we decided to move onto other parts that needed some relaxing.
I asked the therapist if people fall asleep a lot on the table, and she said yes – all the time. I vowed not to do that – I was going to enjoy every minute.
I thought of all sorts of things on that table. I thought about the transfer, about Matthew, about B and the trip we’re planning. My thoughts began to be fleeting and I’d catch myself… falling asleep. I’d rip myself from my dozing state to be back in the moment. But there was one thing that came to mind at a particular moment and I let myself stay dreamy.
My grandmother and I were very close. We were good friends most of my life, but really enjoyed each other in my college and adult years. My grandparents struggled a lot with their relationship with my parents, and in turn, that struggle was unfortunately passed onto us kids. It wasn’t my grandparents’ fault. They tried very hard to be involved in our lives. I have hundreds of good memories with them – and I like to remind my sisters of these memories because their memories are more jaded by my parents.
As my massage therapist rubbed my arms, I was in an in-between state of being aware of what was going on, but letting my mind wander with direction. I remembered going to the circus with Grandma and Grandpa, my Grandpa dressing up as the Easter Bunny, us kids shouting for Santa Claus up the chimney with my grandparents laughing beside us, and sleep overs with my grandparents. I thought of my grandma dressing up as Ms. Hannigan from Annie and filming a scene of the movie with my older sister and me (Grandpa behind the camera), I thought of Christmases spent in the game room watching the adults play card games, and I thought of holiday dinners around the dining table that wasn’t big enough for everyone.
During holidays, the kids would sit in the kitchen at the kids’ table, which was fine by us. We’d go into the dining room and say grace with the entire family, load up our plates, and step 10 feet away to enjoy dinner together goofing with our cousins. Grandma insisted on having dessert at every meal (and why wouldn’t you????) and would dish up her famous red velvet cake (Waldorf Astoria Cake), angelfood cake with the lightest frosting ever (delish), or a black forest cake – all three of which are still favorites of mine. Again, we’d eat at the kids’ table and then help clear dishes afterwards.
But we never did dishes right away. Some people would get up and play games, some would go play the organ, and some (most) would sit around the dining room table and chat. That was when I would move from the kids’ table to the adult table. I’d cozy right up next to my grandma and she’d whisper sweet things to me. And she would always take ahold of my arm, roll up my sleeve, and gently rub the soft underside of my arm – from my wrist to my elbow – from my elbow to my wrist. Over and over again. I would feel dreamy – I loved it – and I would wish in my head that it would never end. Grandma did this throughout the entire conversation and as she would start to roll my sleeve back down (because it was time to open presents), I’d ask her for, “just another minute or two.”
She always said yes.
That’s what I thought about during my massage.
And about how much I miss her.
October 15, 2012 at 12:23 am
Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing her with us.
October 15, 2012 at 6:36 am
What beautiful memories.
October 15, 2012 at 6:43 am
What an incredibly special memory. That is the quintescential grandmother right there – just saying yes to her granddaughter so they could share more time together. I LOVE that story. And I love that the good aspects of family were in your head right before the transfer. That’s perfect.
October 15, 2012 at 7:36 am
Way to get me crying on my first day back to work woman!! I have gone over so many things in my head in the last few days, memories that I never want to forget about my grandma. My grandma’s backrubs are one of them. What is it about the soft touch from a grandma that just makes you melt? Even when you are an adult, it just puts you back into a place of being a child, no worries, no stress, just you and grandma. Your grandma sounds like a wonderful lady and I’m so glad you have lots and lots of memories of her.
October 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm
Yes – even as an adult! I thought of you and your Gramma a lot while I was having those meandering thoughts about my grandma.
I’m sorry I made you cry. BUT – you knew this was coming 😉
October 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm
Unbelievably powerful and moving, Courtney. I’m breathless. Xoxo
October 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm
Thanks. I’ve been thinking about her for a long, long time – like every day. I had to write about it after the massage.
October 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm
Oh, you made me cry! Sweet sweet memories.
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