I got married in October of 2008. I wore a stunning Pnina Tornai lace sheath that was the stuff of daydreams, a birdcage veil, and a perfect vintage up do.
Well…most people thought it was perfect. My late grandmother, however, told me that I “looked very pretty” but having my hair up rather than down “aged [me] 10 years.”
Agree with her or not, you had to give her credit for her honesty, her frankness, and her sheer refusal to coddle my ego or go with the majority opinion.
Since losing my father and all of my grandparents, I've come not just to accept but more precisely just to be aware of signs of them in my day-to-day life. I have no doubt whatsoever that my father manipulates my running playlists – often playing Springsteen and pushing me up hills when I'm having a weak moment on a long run or otherwise just coming along for the ride.
I also have no doubt that my grandmother still pushes her way into my wardrobe decisions when she doesn't love what I've got going on.
This afternoon I was getting a very much needed manicure (you might have noticed a good 1/4″ of visible nail bed above my cuticles in recent pictures) and was picking the new color. I usually pick something very light or otherwise feminine but was considering something darker to suit the season.
I kept picking up dark shades on the color wheel and they kept flipping back down. And light pinks kept flipping into my face. At one point I'd lost the gunmetal shade I'd set aside and yet another lavender sample flew into my face and I kid you not I got fed up and snapped “I KNOW BUT NOT THIS TIME” into the damned air. At my dead grandmother. In front of a very confused manicurist who was probably questioning her proficiency in English big time thanks to me.
I'm not telling you this solely to make you laugh.
Or solely to admit that I'm a tiny bit nutty.
Because while I love it when you laugh, and while I embrace my inner quirk…I'm also just really, really happy that in my most vulnerable, unrehearsed moments, I know they're all still here.
I talk to my dad when I'm running. Not because I'm being spiritual or trying to connect with him. But because he is without question there beside me. I feel him more-than-figuratively pushing me forward when I'm struggling. I know the songs he picks from my iTunes library. I'm not trying to believe he's there. My overly logical mind would reject that idea completely…if I didn't know otherwise. And so, when I'm out on the open road and he's good enough to stop by to push me, I talk to him like I always did.
And I talk to my late grandmother when I'm getting a manicure. Unconsciously. I fight with her over color choice when I forget for a moment that anyone else is within ear shot and she throws one too many pale pinks at me. And upon snapping at her this morning, right in front of the manicurist….it crossed my mind that perhaps I should share all of this with each of you.
They're still with us.
I know it like I know any other simple, tangible truth.
Sorry, gram….. 😉