Last night I traveled with my sister and mom up to Gaylord to visit my grandmother for what is probably the last time. There are a lot of things inside me I could talk about here, but I find goodbyes of all sorts to be the most painfully intimate moments of life. I hope any family or friends who read this know that I’m not skipping over these moments, but holding them close.
On the drive up, I experienced one of those indelible life moments, the kind that you know with clarity, at that second, will never leave. Even if they are the smallest, even if there’s nothing you could point to later and say, “There, that was it. That is the reason this stayed with me.” Certainly, here, the circumstance surrounding it plays a part in why this will always persist.
But what’s funny is that years from now I know that what I’ll remember most from these days, and weeks, and the transition we’re all going through, won’t be the goodbye. It will be a clear, cold night — the moment between sundown and spilled ink dark, when the sky retains something of a purple light — on I-75, Hozier in the background and a beautiful, blinding moon through the passenger window in a car carrying three women who have loved and argued, misunderstood, maybe mistrusted, experienced very real heartbreak, but loved, and loved, and loved each other.
Perhaps when everything else from this week fades away, years from now, I’ll remember my mother’s words — that she’s the one person left who has known her mother longest — and think of the ways in which our lives tie together. It’s not all pretty woven tapestries. But maybe in the knots, in the tangles you work and work to untangle — even when you have to put them down and walk away because you know you’ll break something otherwise — the last thing we’ll have is knowing that we made these lives. These connections. And if we’re really lucky, despite it all, kept them.