I have felt like I haven't cried enough about my Grandma's passing this week. I've been very "strong" and joking an awful lot, which are defense mechanisms for me sometimes. I knew it would come when it needed to, though, and it did. I just blubbered like a baby at one of my all-time favorite songs, "Grandma" by Jon Nicholson. (I've mentioned it, and him, before. If you do a search for "Jon Nicholson Grandma lyrics," you get no lyrics, but my blog turns up!)
It's about a young man who helps his 92-year-old grandma get stoned for the first time. You can listen at MySpace. It starts out a bit funny, but makes me tear up EVERY SINGLE TIME by the end.
She said you live your life until it's gone
and things you never tried just slip away
'till they're gone, too
I waited too damn long
so bring it on
Grandma's gonna fly...
Jon Nicholson spoke about the deeper meaning in his blog:
All my peeps out there that have listened closely to the words of the song "GRANDMA", know what she speaks of, what the true meaning is behind the surface! I never intended to write this song or had the idea in my head. It just came out and wallah, I had this song about Grandma getting high. But it said so much more! And who can get angry about a 92 year old getting high! Should the Old be condemned to a life of boredom, pain, and Loneliness? I for one don't plan on living like that when I'm an old man! I say live every moment of this long life to its fullest!
And that's all Granny's trying to say!
DON'T QUIT TILL YA TASTE THE HONEY!
What made me cry, and pour my heart out in his blog, was that my own grandma never tasted the honey, never ever. She never flew, literally or metaphorically. She didn't try anything new since the early eighties, if that. And now she never will, damn it! :'-(
This is what I told him. I didn't bother to make it pretty, just said what I felt. It's a bit naff, maybe, but I know when I write something, I like to know when it's touched someone's heart, so maybe as an artist, he'll appreciate this.
This isn't a funny story, more of a sad one. "Grandma" is one of my favorite songs ever; it cracks me up and then makes my eyes sweat a little anyway. I thought I got it. Tonight it got me.
My paternal grandma died on Saturday. She had Alzheimer's, really severe, we saw it coming. I went back home (from NYC to Orlando) for her funeral on Monday, just blew in and out of town. I caught up with my family. I barely shed two tears. It was the rest of my family I hurt for, not her so much. I was there for *them*.
Just now I listened to "Grandma" and started blubbering like a baby. Before the Alzheimer's got her, she basically stayed in the house for about 20 years, and hardly ever went out. My cousin and I were pretty much her only contacts with the outside world. It was like the world stopped for her in 1981, when my father died, and she wasn't all that fond of or connected with the rest of the world before then. (My cousin and I think she had OCD and depression combined, but she never went to anyone who could confirm that, let alone help her, and we could only push her *so* much.)
She was 84 and she hadn't tried anything new, nothing, in so many years. She never flew, ever. I don't even think she knew more than a few hours of happiness in her life. I'm gonna be 32 this week, and I think I've done more living already than she did already! And there's so much more I want to see and do!
My grandma's never gonna fly! I'm so sad about that. But I won't let that become my problem. Thank you, Jon, for teaching so many of us that lesson, with humor and style.