i called the grandmothers. or they called to me. i’m not sure which is more accurate. i got an email from the head grandmother a couple weeks ago. i read the email, knew that i wanted to accept the invitation within, but wasn’t ready to receive that much love and support, so i marked the email as unread and answered the rest of the emails in my inbox each day, ignoring the invitation. until today. today i went into my inbox specifically to read that email, to accept that invitation, to call her.
like most grandmothers, she answers the phone slowly and pauses, taking a moment to listen to my heart before she asks, “how are you?” her voice is a gentle kind of stern that knows before she asks that i’m not okay. she knows i don’t call when i’m okay. she knows two weeks have passed since she sent the email that has gone unanswered. i lied. i told her “i’m okay.” we both knew i was lying. i told her i’d see her on saturday and got off the phone as quickly as possible. she didn’t want to let me hang up. she wanted to talk to me, or rather, she wanted me to talk and she wanted to listen. i couldn’t talk. being loved that much chokes me up.
she isn’t my biological grandmother. none of them are. they are a group of women who adopted me when i felt alone and vulnerable in the world. the first time i met the head grandmother, i was silently sobbing in a meditation hall, seated in the row in front of her. as i turned to go, she stood up, reached out, hugged me, and said “welcome home.” she immediately made a space for me among her spirit sisters. she brought me into her circle of friends, about thirty women in their 60’s, most of whom are mothers to grown children my age, which means that most of these women are now grandmothers. even though these women are of my mother’s generation, they treat me with the unconditional loving-kindness of buddhist grandmothers. none of them are buddhist, but all of them meditate. i meditate with them. they are all artists. i create with them. they are also angels. i angel (as a verb) with them.
i avoid the grandmothers when i’m pursuing my habitual self-destructive addictive patterns. i return to them when i’m ready to get clean. today is day one of being clean. last night i left what i pray is the capstone relationship in a two-decade addiction of seeking love where love will never thrive. i know where to find real love. i know where i can go to be truly loved. on saturday afternoon, i will sit in a circle of these grandmothers and receive the divine love they offer me. i will return this love to them with my sparkling tears, grateful heart, and joy-baby twinkling giggle.