As the days get closer to March 10th I have sudden bursts of missing my grandmother even more.
Suddenly, I’ll be listening to a song or standing on a subway platform and I’ll remember how she smelled, how holding her hand used to feel like, how she looked like before she was shut to us for the last time.
One memory that’s been extra prevalent is when I used to feed her breakfast in those last few months. After my grandmother has her first seizure, the doctors recommended we keep her on a purée diet.
(The reason for this was because her seizures came and went as they pleased, so to lessen the likeliness of her aspirating we didn’t give her solid food.)
Breakfast usually consisted of yogurt, applesauce, thickened juice and oatmeal.
Unlike in many homes, oatmeal was never a staple for us. So now every single time I see oatmeal I think of my grandmother’s last few months.
I tended to make up songs or jingles any time I had to do anything for my grandmother. The tunes would distract her from the fact that in some ways she was no longer self-sufficient. She couldn’t get sad that I had to feed her if I was making a fun spectacle of it every single time. (At least I hope so)
As her one year anniversary approaches I replay February 2014 a lot. The moments leading up to the end. The breakfast song is looped in my head like a bad commercial jingle you can’t get rid of. I’m debating trying oatmeal again, under different circumstances, just to see if it stops.