My grandmother lies in the space between this world and the next.
It was a year to the day when my mom slipped into the other room to grieve for the woman trapped inside her physical body. It was a year to the day when I heard my grandmother take a dying gasp for air. I held her hand. I waited. I watched her chest sit still under the covers. I stared deeply at the creases on her forehead and looked for a flutter in her eyelids. I waited so long that tears poured down my face and I wondered if I would be the one privileged enough to hold her hand as she was released from the weight of this world. More time, and I wrestled with how to proceed. As my last bit of restraint disappeared, I started to call for my mom. It was a year to the day when my grandmother breathed out and her eyes opened, fixed on my face. I smiled at her – she who bandaged my knees, drank pots and pots of tea at my parties, watched me climb trees, made me pickles, and held a warm cup of coffee to her temple in the mornings. She smiled back at a stranger holding her hand in a familiar place she did not recognize. It was a year to the day when I said goodbye to my grandmother.
And still she waits, we all hang in the balance, for her soul to be set free.