One of my earliest memories is of you holding me one summer during a thunderstorm at the lake. The trees all around us flailed in the wind, groaning and thrashing about like wild animals from so many stories read. The sounds and sights of the angry sky above gave me such a fright and shook me to the very bone. I cried. But you held me in your rocking chair and gently whispered that you loved me and that there was nothing to be afraid of; the thunder was just the sound of giants bowling in the clouds. A smile crossed my face, the chair began to rock back and forth and you sang me a lullaby until my eyes dried and grew heavier, and heavier still until finally, I was floating in a dream.
That was so long ago, but the memory is still fresh in my mind. I can remember the crash of thunder, the rain drumming on the roof, the smell of bread baking in the oven and the soothing hushed tone of your voice. Even today, these memories make me feel happy, safe and warm.
Time has gone by and I now live a world away from you. I’m at work when I finally get the call. In a hurried moment, I lock myself in an empty room and wait until I hear the voice on the other end. The voice belongs to you but it is a shadow of what it was. Words start to tumble out of my mouth but I don’t know what I am saying. I’m making no sense. I stop. Tears start to roll down my cheeks and I close my swollen eyes; I hear the raindrops drumming on the roof above me. I begin to rock back and forth on the cold concrete floor. The rain is coming harder now; a gentle roll of thunder, and I begin
the same lullaby you sang to me all those years ago. As the song ends, I manage to whisper “Sleep well, Grandma. I love you.” This is my last memory of you. The phone goes silent and I am now left with the sound of rain and giants bowling in the sky once again.
Published in NorthWord Magazine – Issue 18 – March 2018