This morning I woke up to a snow storm that whipped me around the face like someone was slapping me with a wet towel. It was not the beautiful spring morning to work that I had hoped for. Nineteen years ago it was the perfect April morning. The sun was shining from a brilliant blue sky without a hint of a cloud, even the air was warm. You would never have known it felt like the end of the world.
I’d woken up in a hospital relative’s room when the phone rang at 3.20 a.m. A nurse at the end of the line told me that my grandmother had now finally passed away. My mother needed me to come upstairs. She told me to take a few moments, but I knew it was going to happen that night. I remember going up to that room, I remember finding a payphone to call my father. I remember taking my grandmother’s hand, leaning over her and telling her I loved her. And even though she was gone by then, I swear I saw the ghost of a smile dawn on her face.
For twenty-six years my grandmother worked at the local swimming pool. She would sit in the little ticket booth and sometimes after school I’d go and sit with her. I would read a book and she would embroider. It was the most monotonous, boring job in the world, but she made it a haven for her passion. We still have her embroideries.
I’ve tried to write about her illness many times, but I can’t do it. Not in any way that doesn’t sound forced. Maybe one day I will find a way.
Last summer I promised the higher powers that if my father would only get better, I would do You Run Copenhagen in April to raise money and donate all my April book profits to the Danish Cancer Society, Kræftens Bekæmpelse. Bargaining is one of the stages of grief, and I’ll be damned if I’m letting him go without a fight.
So this month needs to be my best month ever for book sales. Or lending – borrow or buy they still get the money. So here’s the link – go get some Chocolates in the Ocean!