Gran and Nona

24 Apr

I wanted to write something flip about how I’m using the songs we’re learning in guitar class to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge (I just bought Are You Experienced? and Highway 61 Revisited this weekend). But my eyes glanced down to my last blog, and it seemed insensitive not to finish that story.

My Gran died the day I left home. I went home for a week in March to see her, to make sure I got to say goodbye, to tell her I loved her. It was hard, possibly one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen in my life. She was so weak, so thin that it hurt her to lie down (which was all she had the strength to do). She was in so much pain, all she could say was, “Please let me die” or “I want to go home. Please let me go home and die.” I felt selfish for wanting to ask her about her life when she was young, about what it was like to be a flapper, about how her family could afford fur coats for all their kids when they were definitely working class. I wanted to know what kind of music she listened to when she was young. But when I got there, I just wanted her to be okay. We were all relieved when she passed away. I was happy for her–she hadn’t seen my grandfather in nearly 25 years. It made me smile (and cry) to think they’d be reunited.

My Nona died the day after my Gran’s funeral. She had had a cold when I went to see her last, the day before I left to come back to San Francisco. It turned into pneumonia. My Dad went to see her at her nursing home a day or two before she died. She wanted to take a nap, and after she’d been lying down a few minutes, she said, “Please take me.” She didn’t realize my Dad was still there. She didn’t think she had said anything. She died peacefully, they told us. I think she was ready.

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