Checking In: Crimson Nails for Granny, and the Finest Items

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Granny, me and baby Connor a few years ago

I painted my nails red in this shade a couple days ago because I’ve been thinking of my granny. Red is her favorite color.

I saw her last Sunday, probably for the last time. She’s 95 and currently in hospice care, so any day now, she’ll be headed to wherever we all go once we leave our bodies.

I want to think that she’ll soon become my angel and will visit me on occasion by popping by as a joyful, fluttery butterfly. It might sound silly to some, but it’s how I like to think of it.

We went to visit her last Sunday and to see her there, so small in her bed, was very humbling.

How do you even say goodbye to someone? Nothing ever prepares you for the hardest stuff, ever. Grief is so brutal that way, I guess.

I talked to her for a long time, and one thing that came up was a memory from when I was teeny tiny — 4 or maybe 5. Granny took me to the Sears photo studio to get my picture taken. I had a Dorthy Hamill haircut, which I loved! She put me in a blue dress with a white bow, and she painted my tiny fingernails a bright, glossy red.

She painted my nails again when I was a tween, when she gave me my first full-on manicure while we sat at the kitchen table. I remember feeling so grown up when she used the nail file to shape my nails, and how I was in awe of her ability to control the nail brush without getting any excess polish on my fingers.

When I saw her last Sunday, I held her hand, and her nails, as usual, looked perfect. They were bare but so smooth and perfectly shaped into ovals. It’s a memory I’ll hold in my heart forever.

Before I jet, I’ve got some news to share. The big scary thing that I thought I might have — the tests I took say no, that’s not it. To a degree, I’m relieved, but I still don’t have a final diagnosis, which means I have to go back for more tests and will continue living in this “in-between” world for a while until everything gets sorted out.

Weirdly enough, through all this, the universe has made it very clear to me one big message. It’s truly a joy to be alive.

The simple things, like walking Connor to school, or drinking a cup of coffee, or even just waking up in a house filled with the sounds of people whom I love unconditionally, are the best gifts.

Thank you for sharing the simple joys in this life with me, and I swear that it won’t always be this heavy! I’m just trying my best to get through it all.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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