I’m not close to my neighbours and we are not of the same cultural background. The grandma who lives a couple of houses down from me has died. I only found out when I saw multiple cars parking outside the house and general area. Something was amazing or amiss – big happy days or big sad days elicit the same initial gathering of many around the locus of the happening.
Grandma (‘little grandma’ as she was known to me) hardly spoke English. She walked around the neighbourhood within the leash granted to her from her ailments, her stick always with her. She was cared for by extended family, whom live in various houses on the same street or round the corner.
Her sister lived within walking distance and also has a walking/mobility problem. Little Grandma often walked up the inclined street on the short, but slow, walk over to her sister’s house, where they would sit and chat on the paved front garden, when the weather was clement. I knew this because it is opposite to my front room, the room in which I sit, often in rugs and pajamas, and I can see the wall they sit against.
Whenever I walked past these matriarchs I smiled a hello. I don’t know what hello would be in their language, but she always yelled a greeting if she saw myself or family members leaving/entering our house. It wasn’t english, it wasn’t any language. It was a big half-crescent wave of her hand, traced in the air, while hollering ‘oy-ay-ah’ or some similar simple sounds, complete with a smile which evaporated any qualms about the embarrasment of hollaring a guttaral, uni-lingual friendly return back from across the street.
She’s dead. It was sudden. I wish her a fast trip to whichever heaven-equivalent is the final place for her religion. I knew nothing about her, but I’m sad she’s not here. I’m sad for the other sister and warmed by the many many people in respectful attendance at today’s sending off.
In other news, I’ve had another birthday. Weird, they just keep on coming, same day, every year.
This year I did it my way. I said no plans, no organising. It meant I didn’t see a friend who had asked if I was doing anything before making their holiday arrangements, but I really don’t like my birthday. I would rather not have the forced committment.
On the Day I got up, joined a friend on a walk just because I felt well enough to do a little bit of exercise – I let her and her friend walk on, though, while I meandered round the waterside, taking the air and the odd photograph.
Afterwards I was just with family, had a meal cooked for me, resisted all attempts to get some sort of family endurance test going (I believe scrabble was mentioned, as were other insipid family-type games). I enjoyed my veto power and may have let it go to my head. Just a little. I watched a funny DVD – IT Crowd, which I like. I watched another funny DVD – really an animation – which is a bit young for me and which shall remain undisclosed. Guilty pleasures are the best…
I ate cake. It was a simple, uncomplicated, un-organized day. When I am unable to make grandiose plans and must observe my mind and body’s little hiccups, a day that slides by with as little thought as possible is really the bees bollocks.
Bye for now.