A year ago today, I was unexpectedly in the driver's seat of my dad's car, driving him, my mom, and my aunt to Long Island to see my grandmother in the hospital. It was unexpected because a) I hate driving to Long Island, b) I had been in Long Island less than a week ago, and c) my grandmother's health had declined very quickly.
We were about a half hour from the hospital and in some awful traffic when I heard a cell phone ring and my mother answered. I heard her say "Oh no. Inna lillahi Wa inna ilaihi Rajioon." My heart stopped. She has just recited the dua you say when you hear that someone has died. My grandmother had died and I had missed seeing her one last time by a half hour. And I had to keep it together because I was on the BQE in heavy traffic with a car full of people, two of whom had just lost their mother.
My father's mother, or Daddee-Ma, as I called her, was my last living grandparent. She lived in Long Island with my father's youngest sister and her two children.
I got a lot from Daddee-Ma. Physically, you could see that I am her granddaughter. I got her round arms. I got her short fingers. At the funeral, I sat next to her sister and was amazed at how similar our hands were.
I'm not sure what I wanted to say. I'm sad today. I regret not seeing her more. I miss her. I think was harder at her funeral because it felt so unexpected. With Ma (my maternal grandmother), I was there for her life, her sickness, her death. With Daddee-Ma, I missed so much. And now it's too late.