to my gramps.

Hi, Grandpa.

I love you. I miss you. My heart aches to see how you’ve been laid waste in the media by our own family. Everyone talks about you as if you’re already in the grave; I know your heart is still beating & I hope you live up to your stubborn legacy & live for a long while yet.

To the whole world you were only ever the face of an evil entity. But of course to me you were always my Gramps. My kind, sweet, adoring Gramps. I miss you so much. I wish the sisters & I could meet you & Granny for another shake party up in your room (we’ll even bring your favorite strawberry one from McDonald’s).

I’m sorry for every second we’ve been apart this last year and four months. I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you more when you were mine. I’m sorry our human frames are so weak & we couldn’t spend an eternity together on earth in perfect health. I’m sorry for what the church has done to our family. I’m sorry the media rejoices in the declining health of a human being. I’m sorry people reflect back the same hate & judgment that WBC delivers. I’m sorry you got trapped into a deluded way of thinking to the point that you were willing to hurt other people & yourself in order to serve a god out of fear. I’m sorry. I just am. I’m sorry I can’t hold your hand again & cry & reminisce with you as you lay on your death bed.

“You’re my great, big, beautiful doll!” You used to tell me. I wish I could hear you say it once more. This time I promise to know how much you mean to me. I never could have asked for a better grandpa.

– your gracie.


bus life.

I am currently sitting on a bus. I left from western South Dakota early this morning, and will be arriving at my Nana’s home in Ohio tomorrow afternoon. Twenty-eight and a half hours on a bus. My ass hurts already. It’s admittedly a small price to pay to visit my Padre’s mom, whom I haven’t seen in over four years.

I spent the morning reading a book of short stories by Nabokov, getting caught up on the latest news (and snarky commentary) via Twitter, making new bus buddies, and listening to sad indie music.

The majority of my time, however, is spent looking out the window. The deep green fields littered with bales of hay are echoes of Home. Kansas. The collections of windmills are my most favorite scene. They are magnificent and majestic against the azure skies, and I itch to climb one.

I drift in and out of sleep. My mind wanders to the bags at my feet. All The Things I Must Travel With. So much of it is technically useless. A more practical soul couldn’t have spared the precious little space in two bags for such items, but they’re of more value to me by far than my pretty bras or toothbrush or running shoes.

A ring my little brother made for me in jewelry class a few years back. A book my Madre used to read to me when I was a wee one. A framed photo of my babe brother that I’ve had since fifth grade. So many little things that my life has been reduced to. Twenty years, and this is what I’m left with. I’ll take them with me everywhere I go for forever.

I begin to feel frustrated by the woman a few rows back who’s loudly playing some random anime soundtrack. The flies that continually land on my already-bug-bitten bod. The lack of air conditioning and outlets. The grumpy bus driver. My sister sleeping beside me. I hate it all.

But mostly, I fucking hate being separated from you. I hate that I’ve disappointed you and that I can never take back any of the hurt. I hate that I can’t tell you all the ways I love you and miss you.

A Hans Christian Andersen quote comes to mind:

‘But if you take away my voice,’ said the little mermaid, ‘what is left for me?’

I may as well be mute, for all the effect my voice has. I’ll have to employ every other force I possess to make my love realized by those dearest to my heart.

And I will. I’ll do it.

My heart feels a little lighter. I find new purpose in this bus trip.

– grace elizabeth.