It's snowing now. The whiteness is smoothing out the landscape, hiding it. Erasing it.
As I speak, everything my grandmother has ever known is also disappearing. It's being erased, gradually, as all the little parts of her disassociate and forget. They relax. They're calm, unburdened, as they give in to the infection that took her life.
She kept her life within her through memories of the people around her. And the people who went before. While her body failed and her connections with us faded, she surely slipped within her memories of us and held us tight.
Now they're gone. Everything a person knew can be erased, forgotten. Everything they did in life can also fade, but slowly. Everything they hoped for, fulfilled or not, is real. The hope itself, may also continue as well, through all of us.
Josephine Ozano (nee Majcher) died today at around 5:00pm, in the town she lived for most of her life. Her family surrounded her, looking on, as she was freed from a life she loved and allowed to pass into the next life.
And as she passes, so passes her memories. She remembers us all as children. She knew us all as we grew. We all had moments with her that only she remembers---or remembered.
Thus is the connection of the living and the dead. And with mothers and children. And grandchildren and grandparents. We must cherish and revere that which is to be revered. And we must allow to pass---though not forget, any hurt that might linger in our memories.
It's a fool who thinks she is dead, though. In her children alone, there are three halves of everything she ever was. Her sons and daughters count 1.5 times. Each grandchild counts a quarter---each grandchild holds a quarter of what made her what she is. And great-grandchildren. And on and on forever. We can never see this mother, this grandmother, this matriarch of what has become a large, strong and healthy family truly disappear, for what she was, we are. And what she hoped we will be, we may very well become. And with her memories fading, we may take pause and perhaps consider what we'd like to be, as a family. Perhaps we may do things differently, working to live with and love each other, and move ever closer, despite the years and generations that will fade and grow with time. Maybe we can learn to forgive our often hard words to each other and come together as a group of people with this one common ancestor, one common source, one sure and undeniable connection that, like it or not, links us all fast, and entwines us.