The Power of Maybe
Posted on December 10, 2011
My guy told me more than once after we started going out that he would be surprised if he lived past 30 years old. He couldn’t explain it, there was no rational explanation for it and I think he actually believed it. It really freaked me out when he’d say that. This is an odd way of looking the situation, but I’d almost come to think of him as an angel who came to earth, was going to head back, then decided to stay. What brought this up today? My grandmother’s husband passed away this past week leaving her alone at the age of 81.
The situation itself was an odd one. Grandma took her husband to the doctor on Tuesday because he was complaining of consistent pain in his stomach area. The doctors weren’t entirely sure what the problem was, then after additional tests on Wednesday, concluded it must be an intestinal blockage. Was it cancer or just a regular blockage? The tests continued, surgery was scheduled and as the day progressed, they discovered he had, in their words, a shattered colon. I’ve no idea what a shattered colon is or how something like that could happen, but it did and they gave him two days to live.
He passed away late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning.
My relationship with grandma is a complicated one. She and I haven’t spoken in 16 years, each for our own reasons or at least I think we have reasons–I’m no longer really sure–so when this emergency came up, I didn’t technically help for her sake or her husband’s. I did for my parents. Mom needed to be there for her mother and I took dad to help mine. Like I said, complicated.
I don’t wish my grandmother any ill will, though. I don’t. She’s going to be alone now and I can’t imagine having to get used to that. I can’t imagine how life would be if something happened to my guy. Some of you have read my blog posts about him, our interaction, the places we’ve gone, things we’ve done, and affection we share. To lose that… And worse yet, my mother is losing that with my father a tiny bit each day due to his Alzheimer’s.
Each death of someone we know and love makes the world a smaller place and a little less friendly. Yet, we press on. We move forward. We accumulate experiences that we don’t know what to do with or who to pass them on to. What’s important to us and the person we share our life with most likely won’t be important to someone else. Kids carry on some of our traditions and build on them, but what if we don’t have kids? It’s the holiday season and I’ve got Christmas ornaments on my tree that date back a very, very long time. Some of these ornaments have stories and one day, when we’re gone, they’ll either be thrown out, given away or sold off to people who won’t know their personal value.
We can’t take it with us. Or maybe we can. If the memories live on inside us, maybe we can somehow recreate our life here in the afterlife as a starting point, a safety zone for us before we venture out into a much larger place full of wonder. And we can continue to visit this place we build because it will always be there for us. It’s all there in our memory and if all things are possible, it’ll still exist.
Maybe this incident will open up a dialogue with grandma. It was never going to happen with her husband, but maybe it will with her. If it does, maybe I can help make things a little less lonely for her. Maybe…
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
2 Responses to “The Power of Maybe”
Dorien Grey says:
December 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm
Thoughts such as you express here, Kris, are a natural reaction to intimations of mortality. But writers are blessed because, though we may not have physical progeny, our words are our children and they will exist until books and letters and blogs are no longer read.
I do hope you find some sort of accommodation with your grandmother. If you don’t, it is truly more her loss than yours.
December 11, 2011 at 11:57 pm
Time will tell what happens between grandma and I, D. As a teacher, friend and pretend relative of mine, Mr. Spock, is fond of saying, I like to think there are always possibilities.