What I remember from her are snippets of stories that usually brought some sort of lesson. She only shared them with me because I enjoyed listening so attentively to her soft pace and rhythm. She was poise and graceful. There was so much silence in her world because my grandfather was a powerhouse of noise and attitude. Natalia was gentle that way. She seemed to bring his demeanor to a calming state. I never understood their dynamic. I never understood how they slept in two separate twin beds in a large home with so many other rooms to spare. I never understood how they never touched. I never understood how she lived painfully taking things in and keeping them secretive. But, that was the way things were done a hundred years ago.
My grandmother died on her 95 birthday. She left on the same day she came in. I sat by her that morning. She was incoherent. She opened her eyes, I squeezed her gentle hands, and she closed her eyes acknowledging that it was time. Her soul left so quickly that it felt as if someone had undressed her body and opened up space for nothingness. I remember being 21 years old and experiencing that first encounter of seeing life leave in an instance. It was magical. It was as if she finally didn’t need to keep all those secrets bottled up to herself. It was as if she finally had permission to be the angelic presence she had been on earth. She seemed to never fit…until that moment her soul flew to the heavens.
Last night in that dream she didn’t wear her thick glasses. She was younger. She sat next to me on my porch and, like when I was young, spoke softly while utilizing just enough words to get her message across. She had been an English teacher in Puerto Rico. She was raised in a nun’s convent in Ohio. Her stories were always missing something and last night she seemed to arrive with all those missing parts.
That’s the thing about stories, huh? They come at the precise time we need to hear them. Sometimes the same story can be retold or re-read a thousand times but with each word a new awareness arises to some other level. We are shaken to open. Her quietness and presence eventually shook me to awake. In a cold rainy night I could feel her presence, smell her fragrance, and taste her words. Today I am wearing her smile, her gentleness and I recognize it’s important to continue collecting those stories…especially from our elders who become sages of time. It’s imperative to listen. It’s crucial to be present with others who need us. I am grateful and blessed for each one of you who reaches out and asks for love. Love comes from different sources in this universe. Collect those hearts from all the places that are sent to you.
Thank you. Love is returned back with deep blessings! ~ Millie