February

February was a rough month for me. I turned 30. Which had nothing to do with the month being just terrible but instead had everything to do with how the family didn’t react. They’ve made up for it and some part of it was probably my fault. I’m a planner. I always have been and this year I planned nothing. I assumed changing decades was big enough to warrant someone else doing the planning. I was wrong.

I was also sick quite a bit. Had a realization that I do not look how I want to look and my health has taken a toll because of life decisions. I’m working on that.

The roughest part was my grandma dying. I’m not sure where to begin. For the vast majority of my life I was pretty certain she didn’t like me. I can’t blame her. Well I can a little-I was a kid. I’m fairly certain neither of us formed attachments to other people like others wished we would. That makes it difficult to like one another. She came to live with us when I was in elementary school. That didn’t cement a bond. I’m mouthy and sarcastic. She was no different. We both liked to read though. That was something we always had in common.

She was a Cubs fan. She grew up in baseball heaven and lived miles from the greatest team to play the sport and remained a Cubs fan. She liked an underdog. That says a lot about her as a person. She always wanted the underdog to win. Fortunately, most of her other teams were already the underdog.

Most people in my life would call me blunt but that’s because they didn’t know my grandma. She had an opinion and you were going to hear it. Nice or not. Appropriate or not. Tactful? Yeah. Definitely not. She wasn’t afraid to make you mad or tell you that you were being dumb.

In the last couple years, she changed. She reached out more. She called me. She was excited when I would stop by while in St. Louis. She wanted to go to lunch or dinner with me. She wanted to talk to me. And not just to tell me what I was doing wrong or ask about the rest of family. She wanted to know about me. She wanted to hear about work and hobbies. She wanted to know me. I even drove to St. Louis to pick her up and bring her to my parent’s house for Christmas. Which we never thought she would agree to. She spent 4 days with us. We drank coffee and watched cat shows. She hung out on the couch with my dog. She told stories and even played Cards Against Humanity with us. She called my sister a prude. I think it shocked her that I wasn’t one.

My grandma and I had a lot of differences when I was growing up. It was difficult to not be liked. Those last years though-those are the ones I’m going to remember. The times when we got to bond and I felt like she really liked me-not just loved me.