Jordana’s Grandmother

When someone in your family dies, you can’t really help but be kept up thinking about your own mortality and the meaning of it all and the rest of that stuff that makes people’s eyes roll when you bring it up. Jordana’s grandmother died yesterday after years of struggling to live, and it is customary to consider it a blessing, but it actually just fills me with dread knowing the end is looming for me and my loved ones.

It isn’t possible to conceive of our own insignificance, the mind has a shut down response to understanding it. But when you feel a matriarch slip away, it really slams you in the face. I was up most of the night last night tossing, thinking about the years I wasted feeling sad, stopping myself from success, loving too well and not too wisely, etc…

I am really well loved now, by my family and friends and particularly by the aforementioned Jordana. So let me jump straight to what occurred to me while I was spinning in my bed. Jordana’s parents love her incredibly. They adore her. If it is possible, they love her as much or more than I do, they totally celebrate her, they see no wrong in her behavior, they would kill anyone who tried to hurt her.

Her mom shows her the best, because her dad is a little bit tied up in his immigrant ideological inability to show too much affection. But Jordana is loved openly and rhapsodically by her mom. Her mom in turn was loved in the same way by her mom, the grandmother who just died. It was the grandmother who began this cycle, from what I know.

And since I have been with Jordana, I have felt so much more freedom to love my friends, to be a good brother to my siblings, to try harder to be a good son to my parents. For the first time in my life, I have a constant awareness of not only the existence of my family and friends, but how much I want to be someone that they can rely on for my own love. Like, suddenly, the love I have been given is honestly too much, and it freed me up to realize how much I love the people who were just outside the blinders.

I am inherently a self absorbed, immature person. And sharing my life with someone like that would never have allowed me to want what I want now. Sharing my life with Eleanor’s grand-daughter has made me a better person, or at least has filled me with the want to be a better person.

And maybe that’s it. That’s the sum total. Eleanor is dead, Kije is dead, I mean, Jesus, Alexander the Great is dead. He ran an empire and now he’s gone, and knowing his name can’t be the extent of his legacy. It’s possible that sharing love and loving someone so well that they love other people more is the only real legacy we have.