My very last visit to my grandparents' house about a month after they had died, I waffled for an hour over whether to disassemble the bee boxes and pack them into the car to take with me, but I ultimately decided to leave them behind. I didn't want the bee boxes unless I could also have the sloped part of the yard they had always sat on, near where my childhood Beagle was gently buried by Papa, across from the raspberry bushes and tomato plants and flower gardens, feet away from Papa's thinking tree. . . . I didn't want to keep the bee boxes unless I could also keep Papa and Grandma's yard and house and Papa and Grandma always inside. I sometimes think I should have taken the bee boxes after all, though, and just lived with the heartache of their missed surroundings. I don't know.
Papa and Grandma and their bee boxes and their jars of fresh honey are all on my mind tonight as I keep adding store-bought honey to hot tea as I battle a cold, and also because I had a sad dream about my grandparents last night. I have dreamed of them only a handful of times since they died in the spring of 2001, and most of those dreams have been nightmares like last night's. I miss Papa and Grandma so much, and part of me will never believe that if I knocked on their door right now, they wouldn't open it and welcome me inside. Ah, Life. I am so blessed just to have had a "Papa and Grandma" at all, and I will someday have another happy dream of them, and I believe there will eventually be a reunion. Papa and Grandma missed people they had loved, as well, there are still bees out there traveling back and forth from boxes to flower gardens, and life goes on.