January 15, 2016

Every single day in first grade, my teacher, Mr. Miracle, would have us say the date exactly the same way. It went like this:

"Today is Wednesday, November 15, 1991. And there will never be another day like it."

I think about this often, and the quiet, yet powerful way it taught me (and hopefully the rest of the class) to make the most of each day.

I met my biological father's mother for the first time this afternoon. I can't tell you how many times I've dreamt of this moment. I've imagined what this woman was like for as long as I can remember; she has been the great mythological figure of my life.

My father greeted me at the door, and as we went in, he quickly made his way to the kitchen. I was following him, but before I made it, Kathrine, my grandmother, appeared in the hallway. Just like that, there she was.

She hugged me and said it was nice to finally meet me. She said I was such a beautiful girl. The hug was long and warm. Just like that, she was in my arms.

It's interesting to meet someone you've loved so deeply for so long. I was giving myself pep-talks the whole way from LA. "Now don't cry, BrieAnn. Keep it together. You can do this!" I was trying so hard to keep the butterflies at bay. As I got closer to their house, I kept thinking I needed to pullover and do a headstand on the side of the road. But I didn't.

Also on the trip, I wondered how many people were doing the same thing I was doing. How many 30-year-old women were on their way to meet their grandmother for the first time? 

We went to dinner and then back to their house to talk. On our way back to the house, she told me that Lance (my father) had sent her a vhs recording of my last choir concert in high school. She said it was at her home, and she wished she had it with her so she could watch it. (She is currently living with Lance and his wife while a pretty complicated legal issue is going on with her home and the property she owns, which is why she can't just go get the tape.) This was so touching. She'd seen me without really seeing me. A video tape of me was a possession she treasured. 

After I left, I drove to Apache Junction to see Alice and to go to my dear, sweet Marlene's house (my favorite place to stay in my hometown). It's about a 40 mile drive. I said a prayer of gratitude for much of the first part of the trip. I said "Thank you" over and over for a good 15 miles. My heart is still saying it. My soul will never stop saying it. 

Today is January 15, 2016. It's the day I met my grandmother for the first time. And there will never be another day like it.



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