I remember it so vividly that I'm not really sure how four years has passed. I was hungover, and still a little drunk from a friend's $2 beers for charity event, when the phone rang at 6am. I didn't answer it the first time. Or when it rang again about 20 minutes later. By the third call, I knew something was wrong.
I listened to my messages, and heard my mom on the other end. She wasn't making too much sense, so I called home to learn that my grandma had died.
I remember standing in the middle of my apartment, staring at the three loads of dirty laundry I'd planned to wash before leaving the next week for the Grand Canyon. I walked in circles through my apartment, trying to pack while washing clothes and cleaning the kitchen.
I sat at the bar at my birthday party that night, drinking ginger ales (pro tip: never go to an event billed as $2 beers for charity) and trying to explain to my friends the irony of this situation. My dad's mom had died on my 7th birthday. And my mom's mom chose the night of my 31st birthday party.Yeah, that's kinda fucked up.
This day marked the beginning of the train wreck of the last four years. Tomorrow marks a year since we buried my mom. And hopefully the end of the train wreck. I felt the need to mark the day somehow. And, well, grandma was a champion shopper. I have shopped in her honor before, and today seemed like the perfect day to go on the mother of all shopping sprees - pun absolutely intended.
Today, I test rode two bikes. Really sweet, lightweight, brand name, as-expensive-as-a-month's-rent bikes. And as I cruised between Fort Point and the Hyde Street Pier, I could hear my grandma saying, as she was known to proclaim when I shared my adventures, "Clair, you lead such an exciting life."
It's not always exciting, but it's always an adventure.