Friday, January 04, 2008

Goodbye, Grandma

Here in Boston we've just gone through a mini-deep freeze; I think it was 10 degrees fahrenheit or less all day yesterday and colder than that the night before. Last night was the same. I tossed and turned all evening because my street kept losing power, and the streetlights would go on and off and my apartments furnace would stop blowing, then kick in, then get the picture. So I tried to grab a little more sleep but finally gave it up to take a walk and do a little birding. I thought it would be okay because I heard the radio say that it would be much warmer (in the high 20's) today but I was too sleepy to think it through, and it was around 12 degrees. It was cold, cold, cold. I just went to a local park in Newton, Nahanton Park, and really saw nothing but a few unhappy mockingbirds and blue jays. Maybe a few crows and gulls as well, and something I half-persuaded myself was a juvenile northern shrike but now am fairly sure that it was just a robin. The things your mind can persuade you into believing! Anyway, after a half-hour my chin was numb and my feet were also coming along quite nicely and I went in to work. I should have stayed in to work on my book, but I was so bleary from the lack of sleep that I just couldn't face it.

I just got back a few days ago from South Bend, Indiana, where my Grandmother Mary Breden passed away on December 26th. I don't really know what to say; I would like to write something special, but I keep hearing the tribute my sister Meghan wrote when I start thinking about it. Please visit her blog at to read it. For myself, a lot of different things have been going through my head. Grief that she's passed on, sadness that I didn't really get to say goodbye, a wish that I'd seen more of her the last few years, but also a stream of wonderful memories and the presence of her love, which I still feel. And in visiting with my mom, my aunt and my cousins, and in talking with my sisters, I've also found myself, happily, still learning new things about her; its amazing to find someone who has passed on still growing as a person before your eyes. She was 92 years old and had a full life, rich in experience, giving, and love. In particular, I'm so pleased (and thankful) that she spent her last years with so many wonderful and attentive daughters, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

I love you, Grandma! (And I miss you.)

Love to all,

ps A special message for Seth: See you later, Fishbulb! (you're the fishbulb!)

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