My grandmother understood me in a way that nobody else ever has. We could spend a whole day together and never disagree about anything. That's partly because I was her granddaughter and she adored everything about me in that special way only grandparents have. But it's also because we had a lot in common.
Sure, we liked many of the same things--books, children, Fred Astaire movies, gefilte fish--but it was even more than that. We just...were together. When I was in my twenties, I would call her up sometimes and take the bus out to New Jersey to spend the afternoon with her. We'd pick up her best friend Leah and go see a movie and then eat dinner at a diner. Sometimes we'd just hang out and watch TV together.
I remember the day my parents moved when I was about twenty-five. I offered to help and they asked me to take the pets over to Nana's house and keep an eye on them and then bring them to the new apartment when the move was done. I spent the whole day with Nana, hanging out with the dogs and the cat and watching TV. We didn't really do anything in particular, but it didn't matter.
It was amazing to have someone like that. Someone who understood me. Someone who could tell if I was sick by the look in my eye. Someone who thought that everything I did was completely amazing, and who would love me and be happy to see me no matter what.
When she died, I remember saying that nobody would ever love me like that again. Nobody ever will.