Two days ago, at about 8:30 in the morning, my mom called me at work. It took me a few seconds to recognize her voice; she sounded very, very down. Before she said it, I knew what she was going to tell me.
My grandmother had gone into the hospital the night before. Now Mom was calling to tell me that she had died.
It still hasn’t really sunk in for me. I think that’s partly because I don’t have a lot of memories of Grandma here in Brandon. When I get to Winnipegosis, where the funeral’s being held, I think that’s when it’s really going to sink in that she’s gone.
One day I’ll write about some of the memories I have of Grandma. Right now I want to share something Mom told me.
I’ve been working on a project called Everything that Never Happened. It’s an online serial novel, and it’s been running since March 20th. Grandma and Grandpa don’t have a computer, so Mom’s been printing off the chapters as they appear and taking them out to the farm for Grandma to read. The other night, I think Monday–just before Grandma went into the hospital–she was reading the latest chapter. She was very tired–she was usually tired, these days; she wasn’t sleeping well. Mom said, “You know, you can have a sleep, and read that later.” But Grandma insisted on finishing it first. Mom went and got her camera, and snapped a photo of Grandma reading my story. Grandma was so absorbed she didn’t even know till later that Mom had taken her picture.
It’s the last photo they have of her, Mom says.
Last night I was feeling a little down. I knew that if I want to stay ahead on the novel that I’d have to write a chapter, but I just wasn’t really into it. Then I thought of the woman who was one of my biggest fans, and the words just kind of flowed. I love when that happens; it makes me feel like I’m on the right track, and nothing can move me off it.
Good night, Grandma. Sleep well. I love you.