About a month before she died, my grandmother and I sat in her garage apartment, had snacks, and a nice long evening conversation.
Our talks, on the patio, or in her apartment, were always tender, funny, and memorable. And I never came home from school without stepping in, to kiss her forehead.
I’m grateful she came to live with us when I was 10 years old.
That evening, after a couple of hours, I looked at my watch and said, “OK Grandma, I need to go. It’s getting late. Goodnight.”
But she put her hand on my forearm and squeezed it saying, “No te vayas todavía. Estamos platicando tan a gusto.” Translation: Don’t leave yet. We’re having such a nice chat.
So I stayed another half-hour, but to this day I can feel her firm hold on my arm. I had no idea she would be gone a few weeks later.
It was a privilege to be 25 years old, having a real conversation with my Grandma, feeling loved, and knowing that my presence was all she needed, at that moment.
There is power in touch. I can still feel the warmth of her strong hand, 23 years later.
When she died my Mom comforted me, saying, “You listened to her stories.”
How could I not? Her story was my story, our history.
If someone you love grabs your forearm, and asks you to spend a little more time together, do it.