Perchance it says a lot about me that my favorite song related to yesterday (besides one that I'll never, ever disclose here...that I received on a mix cd once that I've since lost on purpose so I won't listen to it, and carry so close to my heart that it's a wonder I don't combust, and ain't that the way it goes for all of us and a few special things we carry?) is Outkast's "Happy Valentine's Day". It's got an excellent groove, and you should check it out.
This year, my grandma was my valentine. I'm pretty sure that's always been the case, to some degree, but this year really sucked, and it was nice to spend some time with her. We took her a Happy Meal, and watched some News Channel 8, and it was just what I needed today. My mom brought her this bear yesterday, and she was in this position when we arrived, and didn't let go of him the whole time. Right before I took this, she said, "Isn't he nice?" Seems so.
She was quite upset that Punkin had been sick, although her thoughts about such things, due to constant transitory strokes, are ephemeral these days, so she can quickly forget and focus on loving him regardless of specifics. The concern stays, anyway, because of who she is and how much she loves dogs, even if she has to ask me in a few minutes exactly what's wrong.
I wouldn't have a Boston if it weren't for growing up in her house, where they were considered royalty. Although now I consider it a mixed blessing - the cost of attachment to another creature being the pain of loss and the mental, emotional and physical responsibility of caring for him through a difficult time - I know I'll always be glad that I learned this compassion and this capacity to love at home, from a tiny girl on up.
"I was too stupid to give advice," she said, to which I replied that anyone who raised four sons who are functional human beings couldn't be all bad.
"That's all I knew, besides working at the FBI," she said. And I told her, praying all the while that I wouldn't just break down, that her advice had been enough to keep me afloat for decades, in spite of my refusal to attend church at all, which led to a spirited discussion of this particular rebellion.
"You don't go to church? That's terrible!"
"You know I don't go. We've been over this a trillion times. Why would I want to belong to any organization that won't let me lead it?"
"What do you want to lead the Church for?"
"I don't WANT to. I just couldn't. And there are plenty of women I'd rather see as priests than some of the men they're going to the ends of the earth to find."
"Well yeah, you're right. I think women would make fine priests."
No matter what else you may ever read here that implies the contrary, please know that I know I'm a lucky girl. And grateful enough to share this shot of my many chins, because it is the purest expression of unconditional love that's yet touched my life. (My mom tends to take blurry pictures, but she tries.) It's thinking of this that makes me most afraid that this is where the generations stop for me, but hopefully that won't be the case. It really is the thing that makes this life most worth living.