my grandmother is out there. somewhere. close by but terribly far away. always counting the seconds til her demise. my father did that as well. ‘hopefully i’ll be dead soon’, they both would say.
hypochondria is a motherfucker.
i grew up with it affecting my life by listening to his woes. seven years old and hearing about his aches and pains. the father who cried wolf. my heart would be heavy after walking the floors of the little crooked house.
someday i knew he would die. he reminded me of his unhappiness. regularly.
she wasn’t much different. this woman – a nurse – who gave him life, was resigned to her own demise.
he went first.
she is a shadow and a memory of him and i can’t open my eyes. i’m scared as hell as the last time i saw her i fell apart on the walk home. i can’t look at her without seeing him. this is what death does to people. constant reminder.
i was the first grandchild and child of the oldest child. i can see him so distinctly in my mind, his stained glass in the window, his booming voice, his imposing figure. the last time we were in her house we took a walk. i blanked out my ears as the talk started, opening up again after the woe-is-me ended.
when someone is a hypochondriac you want them to see you desperately. when he laid there in the morphine pool, i caressed his thick black hair and kissed his cool sweaty forehead that i can still smell to this day. the smell of my father’s skin. i lost him the next day.
his wish was fulfilled.
but what about the rest of us/