For many people, and for me, most years, January is the time for new beginnings. My January started with an ending.
This is a picture of my sweet grandmother as a teenager. I like this one, because she’s smiling, and she always hated pictures of herself and never really smiled in them. I would give just about anything in the world to see her smile again.
Losing my grandmother is hard enough. Knowing that I’ve now lost my last grandparent is jarring, overwhelming, weird, and sad. It’s like losing pathways in my life. It’s an odd, sort of melancholy feeling, knowing that roads you’ve always taken, houses you’ve always visited, rooms you’ve slept in, kitchens you’ve eaten in, hills you’ve always known, are lost to you now. Sure, you can go back to visit, but you’ll never go back in the same way. You’ll never go back and find home.
So, where do I go from here? Lots of people have asked this question, I’m sure, and I know I’m lucky to be asking it in my thirties, and not any sooner. But you never really have enough time with the people you love.
Writing now, suffering through my second horrible upper respiratory infection of the season, pondering loss, I’m quite glad to say goodbye to January 2020. See you again never, you shameless bully.
I know there are brighter days coming, and I’ve made lots of plans. Sometimes, you just have to keep going with pieces missing. Every beginning has an ending, and sometimes, you just have to start there.