Today was the first Canada Day since my grandmother died. Her birthday was July 1, so my mom always threw a Canada Day barbeque/birthday/pool party. It made my grandmother happy. Some years were good; others boring. I enjoyed being at concerts (as a teen) and StanFest (as a young married) instead of going. One more afternoon of small talk and potato salad, with a sheet cake at the end of it. Usually by the time that everybody was ready for fireworks, I was more than ready for some alone time.
This year I went to the party without my husband, without my boyfriend, without the birthday girl. It was pretty good, but every once in awhile I would look at the maple leaves and hit a pocket of sadness. The worst part was the birthday cake, which my grandfather brought. After we sang and all blew it out, I looked up to see him crying.
This spring has been a hard one for my garden. Flowers are late in appearing, seeds are hesitant to germinate. I have two rose bushes in my front garden that my grandmother planted, one on either side of the path going to my door. I've been cheering on the yellow bush, as it was choked in morning glories last year and never bloomed, and it's been doing well. Last week I noticed that my other bush seemed to be blooming in two colours. Mason figured out that it was two bushes, and it was only this week that I realized that my grandmother planted a modern bush next to an old bush, and the old bush has just now come back.
It's funny. I didn't think it was going to hit me hard. I thought her influence on me was minimal. I think I'm coping well. And then I see a rose, and I know by colour and shape that it isn't one my grandmother would buy. I look at a cheap Canada Day flag and get a knot in my chest. I wish for cabbage rolls in the dead of winter. I miss her, and I never thought I would.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*