Upon learning the news of my grandmothers passing, the world became a very bleak place.
I walked through foreign hallways in my mind, trying to find something to justify her departure from this world. I found nothing. The pessimist in me played negative thoughts on loop for a majority of the day. She’d never see the moment I shook my principals hand for the last time as I walked across stage for graduation. She’d never get to meet the friends I made— which I now consider family. She would’ve loved them. She’ll never see the manuscript of my first book. She’ll never get to look my husband in the eye and remind him of what a lucky man he is. She’ll never feel the soft skin of my child, or see the gleam in it’s bright baby eyes. I’ll never hear her voice again. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. She lived life spontaneously. My mother always called her a gypsy. I liked to imagine my grandmother living in the mountains of Andalusia, dancing the day away to the raw strained voices of male singers paired with emboldening claps coming from those watching. Flamenco, like my grandmother could never be a past tense. During my childhood, she lived in Puerto Rico. Each time she visited, I was gifted with a tin box of Florecitas, bite sized cookies with a sugary swirl in the center. My sister used to nibble the icing off and leave the naked cookie in the tin. We searched for a seemingly endless amount of time for the remaining Florecitas that still had their “flowers”. It became our favorite pastime.
In a bout of helplessness, I turned to the sky for guidance. The sun was an egg yolk oozing light across the sky. The clouds were puffs of rice. The Cuban within me laughed emotionlessly. How could something so beautiful appear on a day of such despair? I felt insulted by the beauty emanating from the sky, as if God himself were taunting me. A part of me knew better than to succumb to such negative impulses. It was at that moment where I realized my grandmother was in every particle of golden light kissing my face. She was the wind running through my hair. I could almost hear her accent in the rustling leaves around me. She was everywhere and nowhere, and that alone was enough to bring me to tears.
I know she’s somewhere better. Somewhere far away from hospital gowns and needles. She’ll never have to eat frozen food again. I know that she’s sitting somewhere, with radiant health, finger picking Florecitas from a silver platter.