A Life Well-Lived, Part 2
This morning I got to see the heart beat – a tiny flutter in there. The Great Knitter is inside me stitching, beautifully and wonderfully. It looks like we’re due to have a baby on my birthday, August 10th. What a gift. I’ll be 32 years old.
A week ago today, I was sitting up in my husband’s grandad’s bedroom. I hawked over him like a mother over child. His breaths were few. I woke my mother-in-law, and I watched her put her head on her own Daddy’s chest for the last of countless times. She heard the final thump as his soul galloped like a stallion away.
We were left in the wake, crying, relieved, overwhelmed with sadness, bone aware of glory, how close we all are at every second to the intangible side of life.
Later a phone call came in and Uncle Jimbo said, “Yes, it was a life well-lived,” but I am only the grandaughter-in-law. I’ve only been around for 12 years, and though the stories of George Mouk are so BIG and heroic and Charming, I have spent a third of my life just knowing him as Grandad. And I never once felt like an in-law. I was his. All the way.
He was strong in everything. He put me in a boat on the moss-hung bayou, and he rowed me through tight cyprus knees. A gar skimmed the water right in front of me, and I yelped so loud. He knew I thought a gator was coming in that boat to eat me alive, and he laughed so hard I thought we would topple over. We got out of the boat, and he hugged the breath right out of me. He always hugged that way, strong on love.
The first time Ispent the night at his house, I had been told that I was to wake early to have coffee, and I didn’t know the procedure. I woke, saw his bedroom light on, and I took my coffee there. He was reading a paper, put it down, and told me to sit in the chair right next to him.
I sat, and he said, “Amber, I want for you to tell me All your Dreams,” and to that I don’t know what I said. I only fell in love, took deep note that that was our first one-on-one conversation.
Life is a fire, and he was well aware that it burned in everybody, and he never missed an opportunity to fuel it if he knew how.
Already, this child inside has a flickering, and I can’t wait to be a fan, like Grandaddy. I can’t wait to show this child everything I know about the heart and about Dreams, everything I’ve come to learn about passion, Black Bayou, hot pepper heat, and deeply loving your mother-in-law, how in a life well-lived is mostly what’s been inherited, none of it able to catch fire.