don't just think about the people you love, text. call the people you love. don't text. stop by. don't call. make actual connections. i prefer closeness. it's so rare.
sometimes i look back over my 30 plus years, and question the very existence of past relationships. best cousins, best friends, lovers, enemies & acquaintances... all of whom, a blip on my life's history. not even an honorable mention. but then, there are those whose very presence in my life make my story possible. they have in some way, made me who i am. but when's the last time i've called them? sent a card? stopped by for a visit. just 'cause. no illness. no death in the family. no tragedy. i've got to do better.
the grandparent i'm closest to, is not actually my grandmother at all. she's not even kin to me. but i adopted her as a child and she's been my granny ever since. she's about 6ft tall. she's beautiful. i adore her. i always have. i remember the day i looked up at her, that soft smile and kind eyes, shadowed by one her favorite sunday hats, and asked "will you be my grandma?" i already had 2. but if you know me at all, i always want more! "of course baby," she replied with that heavy georgia accent i've learned to imitate so well. we've been thick as thieves ever since.
my boo, that's what i call her, is starting to lose her memory. not major things like people or where she lives, but day to day details. she'll ask me if i'm hungry every 10 minutes. ask me what day it is time after time. ask to see people who just left, because it's "been a while". it breaks my heart. i have her tell me stories. about when she was young. about her and grandpa (who passed away last year.) i love on her. let her love on me. we laugh. boy do we laugh! she's the only woman i know who truly gets me. rough on the outside, sweet & soft as cotton candy on the inside. she's my yang. granny is very much my polar opposite. sweet as she wants to be. always a kind word. but honey, she spits fire! just the other day she told a lady who is in a rehab facility that she was stupid. straight like that. i couldn't stop laughing. she told her now deceased pastor that if he didn't forgive her (for some tiff they were in that she can't remember), that he was going to hell. again, i cried in laughter.
i call her. we talk for a little while. but if i called her back 10 minutes later, she wouldn't remember it. so i try to make it a point to go see my boo. talk with her. make her lunch. take bee and sing silly songs with her. record her. she's 87 years old. i understand that she's got less days ahead than she has behind. so i connect with her. in a real way.
the broader point for me, is that it's not just about old folks. it's not just about my granny having limited time. it's about the quality of our relationships. for me it's about wanting to have genuine connections with people. at least with the people i call my friends. with the people i claim i love. more over, it increases my quality of life. aligning myself with people who feed my spirit, challenge me to be my best self, and pour light into my life... those are people worth calling. those are relationships worth cultivating. clear your garden of weeds & feed your flowers. it's imperative.