By Ben Ralston
I was 9 years old when you told me that: Making love is the most beautiful thing. In your apartment in Dolphin Square. Surrounded by all those butterflies and angels and frills and lace.
The air was full of dust particles and sun beams. I remember your smell. And the effect that your words had on me, although it wasn’t the words that penetrated my heart.
It was what the light in your eyes revealed.
I saw you making love to my Grandfather before he died. I saw in your eyes how you felt making love to him. And yes, it was beautiful wasn’t it?
Yes, that’s what I remember about you, the light in your eyes as you made love to the love of your life, the Grandfather I never knew.
I didn’t know you well, Grandma.
And that may be the first time I’ve ever called you Grandma.
I didn’t know you well.
I didn’t know that you’d been secretary to the head of the air force in World War II. That you’d run away from home to enlist.
That you dressed Lady Diana, And you came from a long line of fierce, proud, strong women. An ancient tribe.
I only knew the hate that surrounded you. And I was too young to choose otherwise.
I feel sorry for that. I feel sorry Grandmother, that I only came to visit you when it was already much too late. For your broken body. Broken mind. Broken family.
It’s a pity that I didn’t get to know you better. Because I think we’d have had some fun, now.
But then, if a glint in your eye could teleport me back in time and space to the love-making you cherished as a memory, above all else, then surely the glint in mine can bring us back together now, somehow.
Surely that glint is all we ever need to remember who we are. To remember what is important. To remember each other beyond the lies.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Why I Love You: A Journal of Us (What I Love About You Journal).