I get that I don't get it. "Life" is ever changing, always surprising, and they should probably print that in wikipedia. And you know what definition they should remove from wiki? Plan. Cause I don't feel that is a real word, more of a joke. We can't really make plans. And we can't plan for how we are going to feel. And it's a good thing, because the plans in my mind are never as exhilarating as what truly happens. And my "planned" emotions are nothing compared to the unexpected emotions that, for better or worse, kick my ass and remind me I am really living.
I love that saying goodbye is temporary. Thank God for that. I've been preparing to say goodbye to Alice and Inez for awhile, cause people just get older and move on and that's a very basic matter of fact.
But if I am being honest, in my mind it's always this dramatic version in my head of what losing someone important to you is like. And it's quite the opposite. The dramatic part is selfish. It's the peaceful part that is reality, and beautiful, and that we should focus on.
My grandmother and great aunt are/were almost 96, in human years. They are identical twins. I can't begin to process what that connection must be like. And it's taken my entire life to just now grasp what I have witnessed all along. They have been together for almost 96 years. Well, 96 years and 9 months. Who can say that kind of thing?! Twins can. They both married amazing men (my grandpa and great uncle) who no doubt were the loves of their life and it was beautiful. But for almost 15 years since the men in their life moved on to watch over from above they have essentially held each other up. I can't imagine that they have survived this long on their own, rather from the comfort of their other half, literally, still here together. Up until just a few months ago Alice (granny) was driving, going to tai chi, and anticipating the next time we would go out for dinner and cocktails. Her twin sister Inez took a turn for the worse in December, and we saw half of Alice shut off. It is the most incredible, albeit sad, thing I have ever watched. How amazing though to know that kind of connection. It makes me happy, sad, envious, not envious...hopeful for the world.
If you have talked to me for very long, you have heard me talk about the twins. The grannies. I say things like fiddle fart, kiddo, and "oh phooey", because of them. And because of them, I enjoy a little more things like afternoon cocktails, matching monogrammed track suits and cheering for teams I have no connection to just for something to do. Growing up I watched them throw amazing parties, joy ride in Cadillacs, and travel repeatedly to places like Hot Springs. As a foursome along with their hubbies they took me fishing, golfing, to diners, and to laundry mats to count quarters from the machines (granted Inez and her husband Roy owned these laundry mats, I was not being taught to steal). I'm sure all to often I took these seemingly mundane situations for granted. But I also think that is the beauty in life...not realizing the bigger picture of what you are doing at the time. It makes looking back as exciting as looking forward, which sends you spinning until you are facing an entirely new direction you hadn't "planned" on. How cool is that? I thank the twins for reminding me to spin wildly, and pull it off while never spilling a sip of my cocktail :)
My sister and I and cousins are so blessed to have had so many grandparents on one side. We have always been referred to as "the girls with twin grannies," which is perhaps one of the coolest parts of my story and one I am most proud of. It means two hello hugs, which also means two goodbye hugs. Which makes me realize my father right now must prepare for losing two mothers, but that also he is beyond blessed to have had so much double love. That's a pretty cool thing. That is one thing I know I have never taken for granted, just didn't realize the magnitude until now. Granny, (Alice), definitely has a broken wing now and can't explain why she is waking up doing things out of the ordinary. I think she's just flying a little crooked until she figures out how to join the rest of the group flying high. And as lonely as she must be feeling being the last one here, I also can see her one day high fiving Inez and the "boys" saying "I told you I was in better shape and would outlive you all! Ha suckers!" :) I'd also like to say that the vodka toddies the grannies enjoyed didn't hurt staying youthful so long either. And perhaps that's an awesome ad campaign that can find it's inspiration from the life and times of Alice and Inez.
I truly witnessed the greatest love of a lifetime. I can't explain what it's meant to my life and how much it has shaped me. It makes me want to love a little harder on all of those important to me. My family is so appreciative to all of the notes and messages we have gotten the past few days, mainly for the prayers and hugs you have offered to Granny. I know she feels them, and I know she needs them.
The twins are such a part of my story. And that story hasn't ended. I am just setting the book down temporarily to go make another cocktail. Although we lost half of a whole, it's been such an amazing journey to learn how Two can be One of a Kind.