Saying Goodbye

It's 4am and I'm awake. Not because my body is ahead by two hours but because my soul is trained to wake up at 4am when I'm under the same roof as my grandmother. For an entire school year I had to wake up at four am so I could shower and get ready for school. There was six of us, one shower, and all had to be ready to go by 7 o'clock so I will let you do the math.
Each morning as I walked out of my bedroom, with sleep still in my eyes, I would say, "Good morning grandma," and go take my shower. When I got out she would be waiting for me at the kitchen table, coffee in one hand and the Stockton Record in the other. Breakfast would be sitting on a plate across from her and I would sit there eating my breakfast in silence as she read her paper.
Sometimes she would read me a story and ask me what I thought or she would start with, "You know..." and go off to ranting her wisdom. She is a passionate person, my grandmother, and that passion lives on in us, her grandchildren, as I witnessed with my cousins yesterday, one of them triggering my grandmother's passion as she lovingly scolded her.
Now it's 4:45 in the morning and the only ones awake are me and the cat. I keep waiting for her door to open, her walk into the kitchen and start the coffee pot and start making breakfast but her time is nearing and she isn't able to do all that she once was. Which is why I'm here, why all of us are here, to say our goodbyes, to see her and kiss her and hug her, but not too tightly for fear of breaking her and then who ever did it would really get a whoopin from the aunts who swear they never hit us like we remember them hitting us.
While to some that may sound morbid, saying your goodbyes to someone who is still alive, oddly enough, in this goofball family, it's perfectly normal and a lesson I've learned from her. Reality is she will pass, it's a part of life, so let's not kid ourselves. When she goes then everyone's last memory of seeing her will be a sad one. By coming now, we get to see her and make new happy memories and more important she gets to see all of us and keep those memories fresh in her mind.
Sitting here alone in the dark, it's now past 5am and as I type the tears flow of the memories I made yesterday, the ones I will make today, and for the ones I won't be able to have in the future but those are mine and mine alone. At least I can say yesterday was a good day, full of laughter, smiles, good food, minus the tamales I was promised, but it's okay because we all ate home made tortillas like we did as kids, hot, fresh, and will lots and lots of butter. THAT is a memory I would not trade for the world.

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