I guess that since I went to the trouble of adding a blog to this site that I should update it once in a while, right?
It's amazing the things we do out of obligation.  Take Relay for Life for example.  My grandmother died in 2009 of colon cancer; we knew the day was coming, but she had managed four years with the disease.  I'm glad I had those four years.  Her death hit all of us hard.  The doctor didn't do the right things, the hospice people pretended she was fine, and the family didn't know she was that sick.  Yeah, right.

Mom's answer is to grieve for the rest of her life (nothing wrong with that) and then she decided that we'd run the luminaria committee for this year's relay in our community.  If you know nothing about Relay, here is your nutshell - Relay is sponsored by the American Cancer Society but run by local volunteers in any community that wants to do one.  The money goes to cancer research.  There.  Anyway, while the Luminaria thing is noble, it's not what I would have wanted to do, but lo and behold my name is on the list of organizers and she gets mad at me every time she wants to do something and I don't.  Never mind the fact that I DON'T WANT TO.  I mean, I can't tell her that.  So because of some stupid feeling of obligation to her, I'm sorta doing it anyway.  And to make it worse, she does nothing the way that I would do it.  If you want to set up a damn card table at Kroger, then plan it and I'll show up.  But don't spend a fucking month telling me that we should while you sit on your fat, obligation strewn ass.  Go do it.  Be proactive.  

But like I said, it's some twisted form of obligation to her that I'm even doing this.  My response to my grandmother's death was to get a tattoo.  Seriously.  It's a line drawing of the colon cancer ribbon (royal blue, in case you wondered) that sort of morphs into a butterfly.  (The ribbon is the body, then there are purple - the survivor color - wings.  I survived her ordeal.)  It's on the inside of my left wrist - the lifeline into my heart.  And I realized that the more I miss her, the more I rub it.  It's like putting her right there with me, but in a way that makes sense to me.  My grandmother found beauty in everything (she never met a drag queen that she didn't like, and she was Roman Catholic), so she'd've liked a butterfly for sure.  And it matters to me.  

It's not that Relay doesn't, but this just isn't the way I want to go about it.  A couple days ago, I made luminaria bags for the members of my (mostly) immediate family that had cancer.  My grandmother, dead.  Her sister, dead.  Their parents, dead.  Papa's brother, dead.  And, no, not everyone dies.  My sister has had skin cancer twice, and my cousin is so far removed from his Leukemia that he's cured three times over.  An aunt and an ex aunt are still alive and kicking. But it didn't stop the feeling that I was making little paper tombstones.  And it won't stop the feeling that the luminaria ceremony feels like a funeral to me.  

I wrote a poem about metamorphosis.  First breath, middle breath, last breath.  And then you spread your wings and fly.  I have to read it at the ceremony.  I wonder if I'll make it through, or if I'll end up a soggy mess.  I didn't write something to say at her funeral because I couldn't put words to paper.  I managed something a couple months later that became a NaNo profile of me.  This feels like I'm standing up and reading something for her funeral.  I don't want to do it.  I don't want to stand there and say that my grandmother is dead, because I don't want her to be dead.  

But obligation reared it's ugly head, and I caved in.  What do you do out of obligation?