I’m the eldest grandchild and first born son in my maternal family. My grandparents loved me as intense as I imagine humans are capable of doing. My Sito, or Ta-Ta when I was really small, was the quintessential grandmother, always squeezing and kissing my face, feeding me, and telling me in every way she could muster that she loved me to pieces.
This past November, only a couple days after my birthday, I flew home to see my last surviving and most treasured grandparent, as she was extremely sick and I didn’t want to lose her without seeing her again. When I arrived, she wasn’t audible, but was responding to us by weakly nodding and shaking her head. It was easily one of the toughest times I’ve had to experience, helplessly seeing my most beloved elder as a frail shell of her former self. I reverted to calling her “Ta-Ta” (against her wishes of me not using a baby words after age 7 or 8), while wiping tears from my face, again violating rules she set for her manly grandson.
My selfless aunt (another priceless woman altogether), who closely took care of Sito for over a decade, insisted I get some sleep after a long day of traveling, and after finally shutting my eyes, I was awaken with the news that my grandmother left us, only about an hour later. Friends of mine say she just waited for me, and a part of me feels narcissistic believing that, but it’s way too convenient to not at least entertain at times.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago… I’m taking my shoes off after getting home with my adult daughter who came to visit me in Atlanta. She told me she brought me something, and then hands me the tiniest vial with a brownish watery substance, capped with a cork. She asked me to smell it to see if I could identify it. After a few whiffs through the cork, it was immediately familiar, but I failed to figure out where I knew it from. She gave me a few chances, before I finally demanded she end the suspense and just tell me. I honestly wasn’t prepared for her answer, that it was the last of my Sito’s favorite perfume. I was hit with a rush of emotion, got goosebumps, and every subsequent sniff inspired welled eyes, which all culminated to a deep sob shortly after hugging her in gratitude and exiting to my bedroom for privacy.
My daughter is so fortunate to have had a 20 year relationship with her great grandmother, and because of this, understands first-hand how important that woman was to me.
I love my baby girl so much, and I’m taking full advantage of this incredible gift, occasionally waving it past my nose when I’m feeling some type of way. Memories and experiences are all we have when it’s all said and done, so having such a powerful portal to some of my most prized memories is beyond valuable.
I don’t deserve either of those ladies, so I owe it to them to strive for worthiness in my daily travels, and show gratitude along the way. ❤