Even Papo (My Grandpa) is here!
Dad, Myself, and Mom – What a view she has!
The Family with Mom (others were there in spirit)
Dad and Auntie Linda with Mom
Mom getting ready to blow out her candles
And Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry. Click on the link to read the poem…
My family and I went the day after Thanksgiving to visit my Grandmother at the cemetery on her birthday. What a bittersweet moment in life. It strikes you the way a cold gush of wind can take the breath from your chest. The only thing missing was Elvis’ “One Night With You” playing in the background, but we were all singing it to ourselves in our heads. At least, I was. This memory is so vivid, and it unfolded itself just like a poem.
My aunt placed yellow roses by the headstone and secured them with a rubber-band, half standing on Mom’s (my Grandma’s nickname) side and the other half on Papo’s (my Grandpa’s nickname). I don’t think we looked at each other for fear of the tears starting and never stopping. My dad opened up the champagne, laughed at seeing how far the cork flew, and as I was walking back from retrieving it, he poured a little of the champagne out for each of them. Other family members showed up, we made mimosas, toasted to Mom and wished her a happy birthday. We stood around and talked and laughed, all of this feeling so normal, just like we were sitting in Mom’s living room. We lit the candles on the carrot cake, sang “Happy Birthday”, and I cannot even remember who blew the candles out – maybe we just let them burn. Opened up another bottle of champagne, my cousin had a contest with my dad to see whose cork went the longer distance, and that was the way the day played out. We all went out for a late lunch and spent more family time together over fried ice cream. I feel as if I had two Thanksgivings this year.
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die, ” said Thomas Campbell. Mom will never die, she just gets better with age, something I know she is smiling at as I write it.