To My Younger Self
Blogging Lounge #4
Sitting near my Grandmother, she reaches out a gnarled claw like hand to stroke my hair. Grizzled as she appears on the outside, she is all soft and love on the inside, at least I thought so. She loved me like no other. I had not seen her extend even a thought of kindness to anyone else, ever.
My Grandmother lay on her deathbed. She wheezed and groaned as she fought the inevitable. Hard as nails, she was determined to see my wedding day. She was determined to have the right to request her “wish” be granted. Only my Grandmother knew what that wish was, but I had a good guess. Often I could catch snatches of words, as I sat next to her.
After days of lifting her nearly hairless head off her pillows to spoon feed her broth, I finally got the gist of what her request was going to be. I was struck nearly dumbfounded when I realized what she planned. I dropped the warm cloth I had been bathing her face with. Staggering backward, I knocked over the stool I had perched upon for the past week. My back aching from hunkering over her was thrown into an upright position. My very nerves jangled at the thought of touching this person I had so long thought of tenderly.
The years of her telling me that if she had it all to do again, she wouldn’t change a thing. The hours of plotting and planning she had divulged what she would do if she were young in today’s world. How often she had said “if I were to tell my younger self anything, it would be to implement this plan sooner”. I had adored watching the movements of such a swift mind. Her ability to envision a plan and implement it down to every detail was astonishing and wondrous to watch. Her plans were always to her advantage, the other individual always left hurting. She had no qualms about using the other grandchildren.
Always whispering to me how much she loved me, how she was teaching them lessons I didn’t need to learn, and how I was her favored one.
My wedding day was also my 21st birthday. Two magical days rolled into one! I was so excited, and had been for months. Giddiness was normally squelched by my Grandmother. She did not delight in other’s joy. It was difficult to hide my excitement. She said she could “see” it on me. She said it hung about me like a shroud, colorful and bright. However, she did not punish me overly much. I assumed she knew it would be futile to try to sober me up.
How wrong I had been! How naïve! This wicked old woman had been planning something so cruel I never would have conceived it! “To my younger self”, indeed! She was planning to utilize my magic day! Every lesson she taught me, she would always add that even if I forgot the actual lesson, my body would remember when the time came.
Every extra helping of food, every ministering when I was ill, every look she bestowed upon me was the path she had lain out to execute her plan.
That wicked old witch! That devious horrible woman! The vileness radiated from her body. I stepped back, with my hand to my mouth and my mind reeling. Slowly, vowing she would NEVER again hurt anyone. Vowing she would NOT be trading bodies with me on my wedding night, I moved her nearly hairless head from her pillow and forced it onto her face.