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1/03/2011

Celebrating Life

This morning my granny died at age 96. She was at the hospital and I made her promise me that she would be there (hopefully not at the hospital) to spend her 97th birthday with me in the beginning of this year. She first said yes, then she stopped and looked up saying, "It depends on the one who's up there...He's the only one who knows when our time is up!" She had such a peaceful smile, she was so lucid her whole life through. Portuguese-born, and very proud indeed of her roots, she chose though Brazil as her primary home, and she wouldn't change her life for nothing. A tremendous pianist and needlewoman (she made the most beautiful cloths and garments in crochet and tricot for my sister and I during our childhood), she just so lived her life so fully, and she did not only teach her sons and daughter piano lessons but most appropriately she chose to leave a legacy about love for we could see the reflection of all that affection on the way they treated her. Or she wouldn't have survived for that long, with not for the loving care they gave back to her. Such a celebration of life, she was still weaving and knitting and teaching. Her last pupil was my mother who just told me, "And I didn't show the towel I just finished for her." The afternoons I spent at her house, all the conversations we had about deep meanings, about life, about relationships, about love, ABOUT RESPECT. But most importantly it was when I held her hand at the hospital and kissed it for the first time that I could realize how much she meant to me and above all of the big lessons she taught without even saying a word. For it was in that moment that I saw that no matter what we do in our lives, in the end it is love that is basically left to us. What makes our life worth living are those cherishing moments, they stay forever, more than words, they are the actions, a simple gesture that is so meaningful and filled with symbolic healing. I write these words with my eyes half-covered in tears, for I know I'm more useful when I pour my emotions down with no restrain, while still able to discern what I am saying. She has always brought me a smile, and I will treasure the moments we spent together forever in my heart. Her sweet laughter and Portuguese accent, something that she never lost over the years, will remain in my memories, as much as her devoted soul. She was the one who stayed there with me all so vigilant and waiting patiently for my recovery when I was at the hospital on my sweet sixteen battling between life and death. Although she never mentioned that, her indeniable love and sacrifices towards me were so uplifting and moving that there were never enough words to describe what she meant to me. So we simply smiled at each other like two complacent souls.

I don't even need to mention what we so commonly wish for a soul who just departed! "Rest In Peace" or to write an anacronysm such as "RIP", for I know she's been resting in peace her whole life through by the way she lived in peace in spite of any turmoil that would rise around her. And I will take her forever with me, for she was the one carrying me around when I was the one who could not walk then. She showed me the way with gestures, not only words. And I'm the one following her steps in heavenly garments. I will always remember her sweetest laughter when on the phone each time I called her and by every year on her birthday, and her tender smile will be engraved in my heart for good.

I love you,
Granny!
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