I suppose it’s no wonder that “Hopelessly Devoted to You” trickled into my head on my way down the escalator yesterday. I suppose it’s no surprise that by the time I stepped foot on the train my rain jacket was dotted with dark tears. Grease was your favorite movie and today was the day you died.
I know it as Mommy told it, you left this world eyes wide open, struggling through your last breaths. But the way I see it, the way I choose to see it, your death was difficult for everyone but you. Your soul slipped from your traitorous body, pain and struggle free, and ascended the stairs of eternity with a twirl and a Hollywood kiss.
I’m stealing a page from your book, borrowing a bit of Salvador Dali, ascending the memories that don’t adhere to my happiness, rising above unfavorable reality.
The way I see it, you are the happy woman I remember, despite the deathbed conversations, despite the baby blue journal, documenting ten years of sadness, 12 years of angst.
The way I see it, I’m tough like Rizzo, and not so Sandra Dee when it comes to missing you.
The way I see it, your outstretched arm never needed me to transfer you to the Porta Potty or hand you a bag to vomit in. You’re still dancing on beaches and smiling in the sun. And your arm is still reaching for the shellfish anyway because, allergies be damned, you love shrimp.
The way I see it, the distance between us is somehow surmountable. The time between now and the moment I last made you laugh doesn’t stretch, but shrinks until we meet again. The way I see it there’s a loophole in heaven and you snuck down the streets of gold and found it. You leaned over the railing and screamed a song so that a tiny string of our treasured lyrics could trickle through my head.
I’m singing the Grease soundtrack all day today.
The way I see it, you’re singing it with me. Miss you, lady.