last day, last time

setting: last day in poland. stretching out on the wooden floors and pondering it all

listening to: europe is our playground - suede

today was probably my last time seeing my last remaining grandparent alive. i'm happy she was relatively lucid. she knew who i was, was very happy to see me, told me she dreamed of me. she asked about things and volunteered opinions, although she couldn't really hear or follow my answers too well, and fell asleep for most of my visit, exhausted by the small exchange we had.

i wandered around the tiny flat, trying to actively remember it. fill it with the images of the past, how it used to be. our whole family seated around a holiday table, us as kids sitting on the carpet in front of the tv on sunday mornings, grandma doing the accounting at the table. the windowsill filled with luscious plants, the "paddle" for mixing the hot and cold bath water. what the flat was when it was the center of our family life, when grandpa - the heart of the family - was still around.

i held gran's hand today and thought of connections. how her cells no longer remember him, it will soon be ten years since his passing. but they lived together for over 55 years, their microbiomes impacted each other regardless of his current absence. and now hers mingled with mine. through that i'm also touching a version of grandpa and his whole history, all the way to the village he came from, the soil there, the plants it bore, the apples he stole as a boy. i feel the summer sun as he runs from the neighbor, i hear the children's laughter, i feel the joy of pilfered fruit.

i don't think gran understood i was leaving. and i'm sad that her closest carers aren't really emotionally literate. neither of them understood my emotions about today. "eh, don't worry about it" (?) neither could offer comfort, or even understand that i needed some. ultimately i'll be fine. i just wish for gran's sake that she had some more tenderness and understanding around her in general. and if she does end up upset about me having left.

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