It’s April 30th–you all know what that means.
Let’s just say I’m glad to say goodbye to April. It’s been busy and quite disappointing, particularly this last week. I’m just gonna come out and say it: my grandma died this week.
Please, no sorrys or condolences. I haven’t posted it anywhere else because I will just feel worse with everyone’s sorrys. It was a hard day when I found out. I called in to work and lay on my bed at 8AM, staring at the ceiling, feeling bad. The cat curled up with me, probably confused as to why I was still in bed on a weekday at that hour. She doesn’t care, though. Any chance to lay on the bed with me, she’ll take.
I immediately felt trapped by my surroundings. I couldn’t stand the thought of being home all day, but I couldn’t stand the thought of work either. So I decided to get out of town.
Initially, I would have liked to just get in my car and drive, and drive, and drive, to no particular place. But that was dumb and irresponsible, so I got in my car and I made a four hour trek (8 hours both ways) to White Sands National Monument, a place I’d been meaning to go but never seemed to quite convince myself to make the drive.
A few months ago, I watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a New Zealand film about a foster kid who basically gets lost in the Bush after his foster mom dies and it turns into a national manhunt. It’s a beautiful film. It’s funny, it’s sad, it occasionally requires subtitles for the accent. Anyway, on the way, the find a place they call “majestical,” somewhere atop a mountain.
So I went off to find somewhere majestical. If I was going to be sad, it might as well be somewhere pretty.
White Sands is basically in South Central New Mexico, near Alamogordo. It’s also known for its missile range. White Sands National Monument is a National Park, known for its sprawling dunes of white sand, like walking on warm snow.
I just didn’t want to be home. I just felt like I had to do something.
So I drove all the way there and all the way back. I still don’t know what I was doing. But I was doing something, which made me feel better.
I will miss my grandmother. She was in her 90s, grew up during the depression. She was a home-ec teacher in the 60s, played field hockey as a kid, was married to my grandpa for over 50 years. They met on a hay ride just after he moved to Oregon from New York. She had a long, happy life, though. I’m sure she’s fine, where ever she is. And I think she would have enjoyed my majestical spot. It’s now hers too.