Sometimes all we have to get us thru the tough times when life gets hectic are hopes, dreams, and memories. I am smack dab in the middle of my summer semester and there have definitely been some tough and trying times. There have been days when I felt like throwing in the old proverbial towel and saying, "To heck with it all! Give me a margarita, some red nail polish, and a bikini with a beach cover-up and take me to the nearest ocean!" But there is always something, or someone, that stops me from doing it ~ usually my family and Sam. I can't throw it all away now. I have come too close. Plus, I don't think I have a garbage bag large enough to get rid of all the nursing paraphernalia that I have accumulated.
So, instead of getting in my car and zooming away from all of my responsibilities, I have been using my "free" time to remember vacations that I have taken in the past. Some days, I dream about my past summers that I spent in Mattituck with my grandparents and my sister. I can sometimes still smell the coffee, bacon, and pancakes that my grandmother would make in the mornings. When I put on my makeup, I am reminded about how my sister and I used to stare at my grandmother while she would put her makeup on in her lighted magnifying mirror. There was one summer when my mom, my grams, my sister, Min (the dog) and myself were home one nite because there were really bad storms that day. We decided to make Jiffy-pop. I am not really sure exactly how it happened, but it started a fire ~ and it was not a small one, either. Needless to say, that was the last time we ever made it! There was also another summer when my neighbor's dog had me cornered on the edge of the boat dock and my sister went to get help. What a site it was to see my sister and my grams running towards me ~ grams with a wiffle ball bat in her hands! Luckily the dog ran away before my grams started swinging! Then, there was the Fisherman's Wharf restaurant. For anyone that knew me as a child, you know about my woes with restaurants. I had restaurantitis. As soon as I would walk in, my eyes would glass over and bulge, my mouth would start to water, and I would turn green ~ think Kermit the Frog with pigtails. This was something that I inherited from my mother and I can only hope that it stops with me. At the Fisherman's Wharf, I would always get spaghetti and meatballs. My sister would try desperately to keep me entertained - mostly by playing tiddly winks. Well, before long, the food would come out, I would have one bite, and then my grams would have to escort me out of the restaurant as I christened the bushes in the front. And it was not just Fisherman's Wharf. It was also at Howard Johnson's ~ I would get the clown sundae ~ my grandparents would always let me get that in hopes that I would get a good laugh out of it instead of thinking it was food. Well, no one was laughing by the time I left there because my head would usually be in the bushes. It did not stop there ~ it also happened at Pizza Hut, Arby's, Wendy's, Roy Rogers, if it was a restaurant, I was in the bushes out front. Luckily, it stopped when I was about 16.
When we would go to the beach, we would always bring a cooler full of different flavored sodas from the A&P. Somehow, mine always ended up with sand in it ~ I am sure Dana had something to do with that. Plus, there would be every type of sandwich you could imagine - salami, turkey, bologna, etc. And yogurt. My grams always had yogurt. I remember that I would use the empty cups to make sandcastles. I would pretend that I worked in a bakery and I would ask my grams what kind of pie she wanted and I would pretend to make her sand pies. She would let me bury her feet in the sand and she would wear a big floppy straw hat. When we would go in the water, my grams would splash her fingers in the water and call them sea fingers. Nothing would make me squeal with delite more than when my grams would come after me with sea fingers. I used to hold onto my gramps's arm and he would walk out as far as he could into the water. Then we would take long walks along the beach looking for sea shells.
I would do anything just so I could go back in time to do that again. The past few nites, I have been thinking a whole lot about my grams. It has been 6 1/2 months. I miss her with every ounce and morsel of my body. I realized last nite that there are some things that she used to say and I can't remember what they were word for word. I think I remember her voice, but I am not positive. Words cannot begin to describe the special relationship that I had with her. No matter what I did, she was never disappointed. I don't know what I did in life to make her think so highly of me ~ she made me feel special and she treated me differently. While visiting my grams in the hospital, my gramps talked to me alot about how my grams felt about me. When I think back to my childhood and even my adulthood, there are not many memories that don't involve her. It seems as though my busy schedule since she left has kept me from going thru all of the process that people go thru when they lose someone they love. But for some reason, it is all catching up to me now. I find myself thinking about her all the time ~ in the morning when I wake up, in the shower, in class, at work, at nite as I am trying to go to sleep. I want to cry, but I am stopping myself. My faith and my religion tell me that I will see her again one day and that she is always with me, but I can't help but wonder.......
"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge - myth is more potent than history - dreams are more powerful than facts - hope always triumphs over experience - laughter is the cure for grief - love is stronger than death." - Robert Fulghum