my grandma lindell had wonderful coffee-colored hair

im watching the sound of music while waiting for mad men to start.

i used to watch the sound of music when i was like 9 at my grandma lindell’s house. i’d sit in front of her wooden TV and lean against her coffee table. i knew the movie was long, because holy crap it was TWO vhs tapes. except, im pretty sure i didn’t say things like “holy crap” when i was 9. also, i didn’t say VHS, because dvd wasn’t a thing, so there was no need to specify. i probably said something more along the lines of “this is the longest movie ever. there are TWO tapes.”

i miss my grandma lindell very much.

she died in 2006.

and it sucked.

i always wonder what she would think of my life now. what she would think of my job, and where i live, and how i look, and the stories on my blog.

she was beautiful. with wonderful coffee-colored hair and gorgeous olive skin that looked radiant no matter how old she got.

she was articulate. two-hour phone calls with her were not uncommon because she loved talking with us.

and i like to think i get my “say whatever im thinking” attitude from her. she was just cool like that.

i wish i could go visit her. or call her up. or just send her a card.

she used to send me cards every year on my birthday. and she always wrote long poems inside them. but i was stupid and i didn’t keep them in a beautiful fire-proof box like i should have. instead, i let all of them becomes victims of carelessness.

even though she died almost three years ago, i didn’t go visit her gravestone until this summer.

i’d been in town before. i’d driven past the cemetery. but i couldn’t do it before this summer.

it was too weird.

i wasn’t ready.

you’re never ready though.

i wasn’t even ready this summer.

but i knew i had to see her. i had to see where she was spending her time these days.

i’ts not so bad. the grass seems to be well maintained. and she over looks the town that became a part of her soul. plus, im sure she’s happy to be just down the road from her church.

my grandma lindell was very strong catholic. the religion still brings a piece of her to me. i do the cross after communion at my methodist church mostly just because it reminds me of going to mass with her as a child.

i used to be so annoyed that she’d wake me up to go to 7:30 a.m. mass with her, but of course i’d give anything to wake up with the sun and tag-a-long now.

shortly before she died, she told me she was ready to go. that she was ready to be in heaven.

and her faith, expressed without doubt, helps me believe in God everyday.

i just miss her so much.

i found an old picture of her today while going through some boxes. a picture of her at her best with a great smile and the sun lighting up the exact right parts of her face.

i set it next to my bed. this way she can see what my life is like now. and i can tell her about my job. and she can see where i live, and how i look and she can even hear about my blog.

im pretty sure i don’t need to visit her gravestone to let her know about any of those things.

because we’re just cool like that.



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  1. The epitaph on her stone was chosen by Grampa Lindell and me. It’s from the Edna St. Vincent Millay poem “Dirge Without Music”:

    I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
    So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
    Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
    With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
    Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
    Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
    A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
    A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

    The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
    They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
    Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
    More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

    Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
    Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
    Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

    * * * * * * * * *

    The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.
    —Arthur Schopenhauer

    May her memory be eternal.

    P.S. I was watching The Sound Of Music earlier today, and thinking of you and her.

  2. This is lovely, just lovely.

    I’ve written my way through my grandmother’s last years and her death in January and these are thoughts that I can relate to quite well. Beautifully done. I like how our words and pictures share them with other people, even a little bit.

  3. I miss your gandma too…she was always nice to me and concerned about me..even in the last conversation I had with her at Mark’s graduation.
    I remember you talking bout The Sound of Music that summer and Meet Me in St. Louis .. those remind me of Glen and that is something they had in of musicals and having the same b-day!!
    She was really nice..and caring..

  4. Crystal, even I am proud of you so I’m sure your Grandma Lindell is full on bragging to all the other grandmas in heaven about you. This was a lovely posting by the way.

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