Yeah, I know…the headline doesn’t start with “Let’s do the doggie, do, do, dah-dam tralalala…” or some other sexy thing. Give it a go though. You don’t always have to enter the backdoor to have a good time, or what do you think?
I went to see my gran a few weeks ago, she is in a ward for senile people. I was trying to read a book to her, a book that I once bought her, called “Home, Sweet Home.” In it there are quotes about home and pictures of cute animals to accompany them. It’s hard to have any kind of conversation with her, as her attention span is very, very short. The quotes were usually short enough to get her to listen though. Some she still struggled to understand, but as I said “Home is a place where you can say anything, as no one will listen anyway,” she shone up, laughed and said “That’s kinda true.” To see a reaction was beautiful – to find that a tiny bit of her is still there.
My gran said a few other things – usually relating to things that have nothing to do with her current life, constantly asking about my granddad, talking about the household chores she has done, or is yet to do, long dead relatives, etc. From time to time though, she would get something we said and reply as she would have when she was well. One thing she said was “We get along kinda well, you and I.” That, too, was such a “her” thing to say back in the day – stating the obvious with a dash of irony and a smile. One of her favorite things to tell me and my sister were: “You are like my daughters. Do you know how I know it? I can yell at you.” She had a great sense of humor, amongst other things.
My gran keep teaching me about love and life, even when she is in a state of oblivion. To cope with the fact that in front of you sits one of the people that mean the most to you, but she’s no longer fully there…is….well, it’s a journey from complete despair to understanding/acceptance. It’s also an interesting journey into questioning what a human being truly is? I loved my gran for her personality. Who I am today, is probably partly a mirror of whom my grandma once were, which I have never truly thought of that much before. I mean, sure I knew she inspired me and taught me things, but I never quite got how much like her I turned out to become – from my greatest traits to my insecurities. (Nor did I realize how much I became like my adopted TV mom…Dr Michaela Quinn, until I re-watched the series last summer. I was laughing and cringing at her, as she did well…what I would have done in her position.) Yet, whom my grandma is today is…a broken record player and one that can’t add any new tracks at all. It has made me question how much of us are a manifestation of our soul, our true center and how much is icing on the cake. I mentioned it the other day, but it seems to me most of us are record players, playing the tunes we have been taught, and very few of our own original tunes come out. It’s one thing to believe we have a soul when we are alive and well, but when someone’s whole personality falls apart, you wonder what happened to the soul? Is it trapped inside us, not being able to live fully?
I have talked before about how my gran’s disease taught me that what she always gave me and that I forgot to give myself, was unconditional love. Apart from baking pancakes and gingerbread cookies, doing my hair up and conjugating French verbs, cracking witty jokes and wearing mini-skirts, what she really taught me was just to love. She may have made me into a household Goddess with a taste for business and adventure, but above and beyond all she taught me what it means to have someone who always listen and supports you through it all. I believe we need that. When we have good love around us, when we are taught to love and respect ourselves, we won’t go running after all the other crazy things in this life that really don’t matter much.
As I sit here in NYC, I wonder partly if I’m crazy? I have set out on this journey to conquer the world with my businesses and movies, but what matters most to me is people. Of course, my everything is always about people, for people, but I keep traveling the world, being away from people. I don’t have a kitchen that is mine forever. A kitchen that is filled with spices, teas, crooked china, the smell of gingerbread and most importantly: people. As with everything else though: one without the other wouldn’t make me happy. I love America. I love France. I love business. I love movies. I love traveling. I love home life. I am what I am. A funny mix. What matters most to me now is to be all that I am in a way that honors it. That honors me.
The day after visiting my gran I was visiting my granddad. I put on my gran’s clogs and walked to the beach. For the first time I wasn’t sad. I knew I was OK. I knew she had taught me all I needed to know. I was wearing her clogs. It is time to wear them not just when I visit, but all the time. Wear the trust and love she felt for me.
Let’s conquer the world. In a pair of clogs and with gingerbread cookies. In a Chanel suit and with pancakes. In me and with love.
My gran always gathered newspaper clippings of Jöback for me…he has the most beautiful voice! God knows how many times I listened to his songs dreaming about making musicals….dreaming about living life. Dreaming of America…