His laugh, low and husky, always makes me smile. Not a man to rush, he enjoys the moments of his life, no matter how big or small. 'Things have a way of working themselves out," he always tells me.
For a little northern California girl, Los Angeles is a city of magic. PSA shuttles me to Burbank during the summer, never disappointing my expectations. The burgundy Buick feels slow and safe, just what a small granddaughter needs to feel welcomed in the big city. The short drive to Sherman Oaks holds the anticipation of Christmas morning at the end of the road. Down one endless avenue to the next, right up to the little yellow house. His strong hand reaches for mine across the beige upholstery.
The radio in the front bedroom quietly broadcasts the latest news as Nanook the Husky softly nuzzles my welcome. Push up pops appear from the freezer. The bullfighter still graces the bedroom wall. Joan of Arc gazes from her perch. The bean bag offers a nest to sink into.
He slows down with time, his feet shuffling down the street and heavy on the pedal. My turn to drive now. Eyeglasses no longer slip from their case tucked into his breast pocket. My turn to read aloud the news. Clarence Thomas on the front page evokes his sense of morality, long honed through years in the legal profession. His hands strong, skin thin, grasp mine gently across the kitchen table. I settle into the moss green upholstery, trying to plant myself in the moments I know are few to come. The clock talks to him now, announcing the loss of minutes left to spend together. "Go, Abuela, I'll stay here," I urge, clamoring for another precious moment.
Later that night, strains of 'Gone With The Wind' float through the apartment. The phone rings in the dark. 'Please come,' the voice pleads. 'He's gone.'
We arrive in the darkness. More stoic unsettled, she draws the long silver Cartagena scissors to tenderly snip a lock of his hair. So still. The tears flow silently, slowly.
His hands clasp in tranquility. I slump to his side, tenderly kiss his cheek. No rush now. He has enjoyed the moments of his life. I savor this last one we spend together. Somehow, I know things have a way of working themselves out.
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