Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sunset in Rodney Bay



Amid the stories and the memories and the laughter, a quiet reckoning, as starched embroidered linens are divided among daughters and granddaughters, photo albums packed for safekeeping in another country, the house so full now, so vibrantly alive, the emptiness and the silence imminent. Her grandson says, Look up at me Grandma, not at your feet, as he holds her up and walks backward with careful steps, guiding her to her favorite chair. One granddaughter plumps the pillows under her head come evening, another lies head to head with her and says, Look at us, how alike we are. Stella makes johnny cakes and sweet plantain that barely make it out the pan before they are snatched by waiting fingers, and the banana bread, fresh from the oven at four, does not last past sunset, the beach stoked appetites enormous. My son finds me in a room where I am reading and he curls his head into my shoulder. He is crying. Grandma is so tiny and frail, her voice mostly a whisper, her eyes cloudier than before, her hands trembling. I stroke his head and tell him that he can always be comforted by the fact that he has looked out for her always, been there for her even when he was a very small boy. On Saturday she will leave St. Lucia, maybe for the last time. She tells me where her will is, the contents of the safety deposit box, gives instructions for dividing the crystal. She makes us promise we will take care of Stella who has taken such good care of her. She watches Olympic gymnastics with us, and swimming, remembering when she and my father lived in London, where my dad studied law six decades ago. She tells us stories. She shows us pictures. She looks around the room at the sprawled bodies of her offspring and his, and she smiles an almost secret smile. This is what she loves best. It has always been so.


16 comments:

  1. I'm sorry I've been away from your blog for so long.
    This is just beautiful. xoxo

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  2. So much love, so much love, so much love...Isn't that really what it is all about? Gather more memories and tuck them deep down into your soul where they will be safe forever.

    I am here, supporting you from afar and sending you more love. I realize that no family is ever anywhere near perfect but when there is love to hold it together, it can sometimes feel like heaven on earth.

    Big hugs to my sweet, sweet soul sister and friend.

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  3. This is such a beautiful moment, like you are all seated at the shore and watching life ebb and flow before you. Of course she would love this best. You are all so blessed with love.

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  4. Oh, what a beautiful, painful sunset.

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  5. You always seem to take me to a place where I have no words. I have memories that connect with yours and I lose myself in them as I feel what you describe. It feels comforting and safe while at the same time sad and scary. But we accept what must come and feel so, so blessed for the love we feel and the for the blessing of family.

    Well, I guess I did have some words after all.

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  6. I feel for you, for your son. I have lived this. That last summer in my grandmother's house. We knew it, she knew it. I was sad, she was... ready. She moved to my aunt's house and lived for another 4 years. And so yes, enjoy this time. It probably will be one of many farewells for years to come, but it's the togetherness that matters. Your family is blessed. Hugs!

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  7. You're killing me with this.
    m.

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  8. This journey may be the most profound one of of all for your family. I wish I could whisper in your ear and tell you that it will all be all right. Somehow. I wish I had better words. Please know, though, that my heart is filled with thinking about your family.

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  9. Oh, Angella. The power of your words, your story, your family...your writing just vibrates with love.

    Sweet plantain is my favorite. My husband recently turned me on to Cuban food, and I could eat that way every single day.

    Thank you for sharing this gorgeous, hauntingly beautiful, bittersweet snapshot. xoxox

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  10. It's so wonderful you all got there and are having this acknowledged time of/before separation. {{{{}}}}

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  11. Even in the sad of times, your family seems to glow - love

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  12. made me cry. beautiful. so much love.

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  13. So lovely, so much love, I'm drinking it in from all the way over here.
    love,
    yo

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  14. I wish I could hug you in person, but know that you are in my heart and I'm sending you a big virtual hug, with all my love.

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  15. Beautiful words.
    Sending you all my love & will keep you all in my prayers
    xxxxx

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