I love to dance.
No. Seriously. I love to dance. I was born to be a backup singer/dancer. I don't know when it started. I don't think it was when I was really little. But, at some point it happened. I remember practicing in my room right before prom. I remember dancing around my room. I remember as a teen dancing downstairs in my grandparents house to Starship. Dancing has become a part of my everyday life.
I've even gone so far as to choreograph routines for the kids and sometimes the kids and I. There was one time in 2003. George had moved to Kansas for a job and we were still back in beautiful Charleston (Summerville, actually), SC. On one of his weekends home, the kids did a dance routine to welcome him. Then, there was this one time, the girls and I danced to Shake Your Rump when they were like 7 and 8 and Jaime did the singing (or lip syncing actually).
On any random day of the week, you will find me in the kitchen cooking. And, while the cooking is happening, so is the dancing. It's nothing to grab the nearest kid and dance with them around the island. It's too the point now, that sometimes, my kids will grab me and just start dancing with me in the kitchen. We swing, we salsa, we waltz. We just dance however the spirit moves us. We dance to the Mills Brothers (shout out to my Amy, my Mills Brothers buddy) I just LOVE them! We dance to the Platters, Glenn Miller, Lady Gaga. We dance to country, pop, rock, classical. We dance to whatever is playing on my iphone (all the above are on it lol). Occasionally, George will grab me in the kitchen and dance with me. That's my very fav! He and I even took dance lessons. Ballroom style. It was awesome. Arthur Murray, six easy lessons. But then it started to get expensive
My best friend Tina and I use to go out salsa dancing once or twice a month. We loved it. But of all the dancing I've done, my very favorite has to be with my Mema. We would always dance. We polka (shout of to Amy my polka buddy same Amy as my Mills Brothers buddy), we'd waltz. We would always, always argue who would lead. lol She always won. We even danced at my wedding. I've got a picture somewhere to prove it! lol
When I was little, I learned the best place to be was at Mema's. Sure, I loved my Grandpa immensely, but it was always Mema's house. She taught me how to sew and how to bake. She listened to Croatian music every Sunday. She was always happy. Then, after Grandpa died, something really neat happened. She became her own person. If she was happy before, now she was ecstatic. She played dice (she loved her dice) she sang. She worked. She made her own Halloween costumes and won first prize something like 5 times in a row! She was so cool. She wasn't a rocking chair Grandma that's for sure. Did I tell you she taught me how to type? I was five. I had my own typewriter (one my Grandpa fixed up). She taught me. In high school I took the typing class b/c it was an easy A. I was BORED! I could type "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country" quick as a whip and here I was doing 'aaa, ccc, aaa, ccc' Monotony I tell you! From the time I began to type I wanted to be a secretary. And, I succeeded. Did you guys know that? I use to be a secretary. Oh, I was a secretary for a while. And, most of the time I loved it. But, I digress, I was telling you how awesome Mema is.
Last year, I attended the Monserrat Retreat. I go every year. Last year, Mema's health was declining and I knew it wouldn't be long. On my weekend, I wrote her a goodbye letter. A letter full of love and appreciation for who she is. My mom wanted me to send it to her so she could read it to her. At the time, I thought it too personal for my mom to read. Then, after she passed, I ended up reading it to my mom. She replied how much Mema would've loved it. I like to think that Mema heard every word.
Today, I am sick. Today, also, is Mema's birthday. She'd be 93. I can't dance with her anymore. And to tell you the truth, it kills me. I can't call her and tease her. I once had her believing that the song Deep Purple was about sex lol. I can't make her laugh. I miss her telling me to 'go pound sand!' I miss her laughter. I miss her telling me she loved me. The weird thing is, she's right here with me. I have her everywhere. I have her pictures. I have hers (and Grandpa's) rosary's. I have her robe. I have her blanket. I have her watches and earrings. I have tons of the materials that belonged to her, but I cannot dance with her. No, today, her dancing is with Grandpa.
My heart is broken into a thousand pieces and it feels like she's died all over again.
So, as my life goes on and shattered pieces remain, the dancing will slowly continue. And, until I can dance with her again, I will dance with Jesus.
Until Next Time,
Happy Early Valentine's Day.