I went to go lay down and take a nap while Jae was napping, and discovered that my mind is absolutely refusing to shut the hell up. So, now I'm here, hoping that writing will help me take a load off.
Last week was was weird on many counts, but as the trip was made due to my grandmother, I suppose I should start there...
I haven't seen my grandma in, roughly, 19 years, and have only spoken to her once, shortly after my daughter was born. She lived very much like a nomad, surviving off little income and the land; moving to new places frequently. It seemed like she always had to be mad at someone, and more often than not, took that anger out on her children- unless they had something to offer of course. She was bipolar and, in my opinion, suffered from borderline personality disorder. I remember, during the time that she lived with us, her having wonderful lucid moments where she was a "real grandma". Playing with me, and, more specifically, letting me ply with her auto harp. I was never very good at it, with my clumsy 7 year old fingers, but she was amazingly skilled, especially for a self taught player. Then there were her "bad days" which seemed to outnumber the good. This was when she lost her temper easily, and you never knew what would set her over the edge. When my mom confronted her about doing her part in household upkeep, my grandma got blazing mad and moved out. That was the last I saw of her.
In going through her things as we cleaned out her trailer, I can say that not much changed for her. She had learned how to use her words like a knife, and keep herself composed instead of flying off the handle. True to form, she kept meticulous files on everything in her life (including her ex-husbands- LOL!), as well as the handwritten drafts of numerous letters she had written over the years. Through those letters and the medical files we found, we were able to piece together that she was originally told back in 2007 that she had a heart condition that needed monitoring. In particular, it was an irregular arrhythmia. She basically told the doctor that he was wrong. Now, back in May of 2010 she was told again that she had this condition and in the letter from the doctor, he specifically stated that people can drop dead from this at any moment without proper monitoring and medication. Now, I'm not a huge medication activist or anything, but a heart condition is a serious thing... So, with this letter from the doctor, we found my grandma's response- in which she called him an ass hole and said that 90% of the time she was the smartest person in the room and could take care of herself. Yup, that's the grandma I remember. Then, what do you know, just like the doctor warned her about, she literly dropped dead five months later.
We spent a whole day cleaning out her trailer, then tended to settling everything with the funeral home and ordered her a headstone. She was cremated and buried in the state graveyard and, despite the desolate feeling of the graveyard, she has an amazing view. My mom, grandfather, and I drank to her memory, and poured wine over her grave for libation. I buried a blue candle for peace into her grave, along with a beautiful stone (sodalite) and a letter I had written to her the night before. As we toasted her one last time for her brother and sister, who could not be present and I covered my letter, there was a sudden gust of wind which cause a dust devil right over her grave then immediately dissipated. It's been dubbed the "wind hug" by mom and I.
There was little value, if any, in the few things that we took from her trailer and kept. But, it is done with and my grandma, I believe, is finally at peace.