Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Fortune Cookie...

It rained all yesterday and the gloomy skies seemed to be the precursor to the news I just found out.  My grandmother has fallen ill and was entered into a hospice.  


I'll be going down to Asheville shortly to be with my family and then make the trek out to Missouri to see her.

A little over a week ago, I was sitting in a greasy Chinese take-out place in my neighborhood.  I was fiddling with the plastic spork and napkin sealed in cellophane, arranging the pouch on my blue tray, pretending that the tray was clean and hoping that the food would be good.  After making my way through a lackluster pile of sesame chicken and rice, I cleared my table and proceeded to take my leave.  The woman behind the counter shouted after me, "Hey, you want cookie?"  She slipped a fortune cookie under the plate-glass window separating the two of us and smiled.

Cracking stiffly in my palm, I gobbled up the semi-stale cookie and retrieved the cryptic message from a small pile of crumbs.  It read: "The beginning is filled with many ends."

At the time, it seemed a forgettable experience.  Nothing seemed amiss.  Now, I can't help but think back on it.  Now, looking back on it, the fortune cookie seemed an ominous foretelling.   Had I the skill, I would have been able to read between the lines.  That the beginning of this year would be an education in loss, schooled in sudden tragedy and slow debilitating illness.  I would learn the different incarnations of many ends.  

I feel the dark waters swirling up around me, making my movements slow and sluggish.  I struggle against the rushing tide, the brackish waters intent on pulling me under.  I struggle and grow increasingly tired.  Very tired.  If only I could just rest for awhile, but I know that if I do, I'll be swept up and away and who knows when I'll return?  Who knows when the dark waters will subside?  For now, I stand frozen, numb, and chilled by the flowing currents.  Tired, but still standing.

11 comments:

Lorelei said...

This post has special meaning for me. I'm so glad you wrote it so eloquently. I could never have written something so powerful and meaningful.
Joe's Grandmother just passed away yesterday in her sleep. Had just gotten home from the hospital to be made comfortable at home with Hospice by her side. She must have been really comfortable and left this world really quickly, not giving them a chance! I too will be traveling, upstate, for the funeral.
May peace be with you in your journey to Missouri.

Norma said...

You are in my thoughts and have a safe trip to MO.

Janet said...

Im so sorry to hear of your Grandmothers illnes...Bless her! Oh Andrew there is "a Time for every Season under Heaven"! Be patient the spring will come again the flowers will bloom and the birds will call. Your spirits will liven up...
With much Love,
Janet x

Jobee said...

Relax, breathe and keep your stillness.
I really hope everything goes as easily as it can on your journey to be with everyone at the heart of your family. Loss of any sort is so hard so try to be kind to yourself and also accept outstretched hands offering help and love.
It will be ok.

Jo-bee x

jeweledrabbit said...

This is a beautiful post, Andrew. I wish you peace while you're in MO.

sweet fine day said...

Have a safe trip Andrew. We will be thinking about you.

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thinking of you...

Eva said...

I'm sorry, Andrew. Send our love to your family.

Carter said...

"In the depths of winter I learned I had in me an invincible sumer." -Camus

It's the times like these that bring us closer to who we are as humans, and make us truly enjoy the sunny times in life.

Thinking of you and your family and sending you warmest thoughts.

jennifer said...

Sorry to hear this andrew. Life can be such a stranger sometimes.
Wishing you a little peace and calmness.

Andrew Thornton said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words. It has all meant so much to me in these trying times.