And just like that it hits you. Hard and out of nowhere. You sit idly listening to your grandmother go back and forth trying to remember if she bought pie crusts on Monday or Tuesday, running through every rudimentary detail of those 2 days, until she comes to the conclusion that it was definitely Tuesday…or no, was it Monday? Agitated that she can’t fully recall, she dismisses the thought and proceeds to give you step by step details of how she is going to prep her desserts for Christmas this year. Every. Single.Minute.Detail. A story you’ve heard so many times you could regurgitate it yourself. But this time, somewhere betwixt the plethora of sweet potato pies and a chocolate chip recipe that calls for Gold Medal flour and not White Lily, because for some reason White Lily just doesn’t work, you’re served with a healthy helping of homesickness. Out of nowhere you find yourself laughing in between sobs and wiping away silent tears.
This is typical Granny, and what you once found as a slight annoyance (25 minutes of conversation, yet you haven’t gotten a word in edgewise) you find comfort in it. You delight in her voice, riddled with it’s country colloquialism and all. You can smell her kitchen. The kitchen you practically grew up in. You hear dishes clanking as she is rummaging through dish water; the same disgusting bleach water that you’ve loathed all your life, but again, it’s just so typical Granny. Always in the kitchen. Always doing something. Restless energy. And as if she could read your thoughts she stops mid sentence and exclaims she thinks she lost her dishwater stopper. This stopper is nothing more than just some random bottle cap that she plugs the sink with, that you have to position just right or all the water will drain out. But, false alarm she finds it and proceeds with her story without missing a beat.
Meanwhile, you’re trying to keep your sobs as quiet as possible. Tears aren’t a prevalent thing in this family. It’s usually pacified with an “Aww, you’ll be alright” and then it’s on to a less awkward and more comfortable conversation. You regain composure… for the time being. But then, she hands the phone to Granddad, better known as your Sunshine. You hear his voice and the dam breaks. You miss him so much. He’s a man of few words and after the formalities, you both sit in silence. The unbidden lump in your throat won’t allow any words to escape. So it’s just silence. After a few moments he asks again if everything is alright and if you’re taking care of yourself. Finally, you find your words and manage a “yes.” You tell him that you miss them very much, and in true Granddad fashion he says, “Well, that’s how it goes.” Emotions aren’t his thing, but you know he’d give the moon, stars, and every galaxy from here to infinity to you and for you.
After the very brief exchange you bid your talk to you laters and take cares. And then you weep. Mercilessly.