This November it will be 3 years since my grandfather passed away.
It all really feels like it happened a long time ago. Although 3 years flashes by in the wink of an eye, it just feels like so much water has flowed underneath the bridge since then. Babyice was just 10 months old when it happened. He is a boy now. PrincessIce was conceived, carried and birthed while her brother grew up. As far as life goes, a lot has happened since he left us. I remember him saying to me once that we will forget about him once he is gone. He was already sick when he said this. I assured him he would not be forgotten. And he won’t.
Leebeesa’s aunt procured a Livestrong bracelet for my grandfather after he was diagnosed. You couldn’t just find them anywhere anymore. We thought it would be something nice for him to wear, to encourage him during his treatments. He wore the bracelet proudly. He rapidly deteriorated and when he became gravely ill he was given morphine to help for the pain and to keep him more comfortable. I lost my grandfather to the drugs then. He often looked panicked (probably paranoid) and would say strange things as he hallucinated. He once asked me to help him die. Have I ever told you that? On the one hand I wish I could of (legalities aside), on the other I never could. The Livestrong bracelet started to irritate him. He didn’t like things touching his skin and was annoyed by sounds and light. More side effects from the drugs I assume. I took the bracelet from his arm and put it on my own. I told him I would wear it in solidarity, on his behalf. I have been wearing it ever since. I only took it off for a few minutes for the Cosmo cover shoot I did, once the photo was taken I put it back on. Other than that I don’t recall taking it off at all.
Of course after the Lance Armstrong scandal hit the news some silly people were “shocked” that I was still wearing it. As if me wearing it had anything to do with Lance Armstrong. It didn’t. I was wearing it for my Oupa.
Almost 3 years later, I feel like it is time to take it off. I don’t need the bracelet to remember him. In fact, looking at it isn’t what reminds me of him. I think of him when the clouds are particularly beautiful. He once said if he could have a job in heaven, he would like to design the clouds. I think of him when I see beautiful things in nature like waterfalls or butterflies. He used to love nature and went on hikes regularly to be outdoors. I think of him when I wear the gold pendant he bought me. I think of him when someone talks about WWII or Marilyn Monroe. I think of him when Babyice does something particularly cute or even naughty and how much he would of enjoyed spending time with him if he had gotten the chance. Sometimes I look at PrincessIce and wonder if he had a hand in picking her for our family. This yellow piece of plastic is not what reminds me of him.
For a long time I somehow thought that taking it off would be some kind of betrayal to him, or his memory. I realize now how silly that is. So it is time to take it off. In some ways I am really glad to be liberated of it. It’s not exactly a beautiful accessory. I’ll put it somewhere safe.
Finally, letting it go.
P.S. I wrote this post a few days ago and didn’t actually take the bracelet off. The post was scheduled to release today. Last night Babyice asked me if he could wear it and it occurred to me that I was meant to take it off already. I gave it to him to play with. He figured it made a great chew toy. Luckily it’s hardy. This morning I put it in my jewellery box. Strange how things happen sometimes. Perhaps a sign that it is okay and it really was the right time. Do you believe in co-incidence?