Respite


Today, for the first time in years, my toes and the Atlantic Ocean made contact.

I grew up on the Jersey Shore (NO, not THAT Jersey Shore – mention it again and I’m a send someone with a whole lotta vowels in their last name your way) just mere seconds away from the ocean. I suffered from perma-tan as a result of spending almost every waking minute on the sands of the beach during summers at my grandmother’s house.

We had a routine – we’d hang out, then eat cream cheese and jelly sandwiches on toast while watching The Price is Right (with Bob, not this new guy, Drew). We’d pack up the station wagon after the show was over to glide the 5 measly blocks to the ocean. Hot metal car seatbelts do NOT feel good against young skin, lemme tell you what. Then, we’d slather on sunscreen and go running smack dab into the ocean.

The afternoon always passed too quickly in squeals of delight, screams of fear after stings of jellyfish, and whoops of joy as huge waves carried our brave bodies toward shore, hurling us unfailingly into the hard sand underneath the soft water. We’d laugh, get up, and run smack dab back into the ocean all over again.

The grandmother with whom I spent all that time with at the beach, at the Atlantic Ocean, is now a part of the ocean. She passed away well over 10 years ago and her ashes were spread in the Atlantic.

Today?

Today I said hello.

Tomorrow?

Tomorrow I will run with glee smack dab into the ocean to give her the biggest damned hug of my life.

I am home.

Whatever Wednesday: Grandma Jane’s Silver Bells


My Grandma Jane rocked. She was sassy, outspoken, brash, and overly compassionate. Doesn’t sound familiar at all, does it? ;-)

There were closets full of sweeping silky gowns, bedroom high heels, and real fur coats. We could dress up in anything we wanted to as long as it wasn’t in HER closet. Oh, the things I used to wear when we were at her house. (My cousin and I even got into her make up one year. Boy did we pay the price for THAT faux pas!)

She played organ at her church and had an organ in her living room on which she practiced. You know what that meant, right? We got to practice too. She would casually give us lessons too.

One of the songs our Grandma Jane loved this time of year was Silver Bells.

We would sit next to her at the organ as she played, watching every place her lithe fingers would land. Then it would be our turn. We would try our best to imitate her but all we could ever eek out would be Chopin.

This Christmas, every time Silver Bells plays, I am reminded instantly of my Grandma Jane. So I pause. In that moment, I feel the joy of sitting next to her at the organ, drinking in her perfume (remember Charlie?), her living room aglow in Christmas lights, delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, her perfume, and laughter of all the family members roaming about the house. In that moment, my heart is happy once again with her memory.

Then the song ends.

And I, I am left all alone until the next time the song is played.

I miss and love you, Grandma Jane.

This one’s for you:

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