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Posts Tagged ‘remembering’

When my grandparents died, I was married with children.  I don’t recall when my grandmother passed away because I simply chose to not remember those dates.  I do remember that I was at her funeral, holding my newborn grand niece.  My only real memory of her funeral was holding that squeaking baby, thinking that if you have to sit through a funeral after losing the woman who raised you, it may as well be done while holding a newborn.  The cycle of life.

I remember hearing some stories later about her death.  To this day I don’t know if they are true, and honestly, it doesn’t matter.  I choose to remember her life.

My grandmother’s name was Wanda B.   No middle name.  Just B.  She raised her children, owned a business, and just as retirement was nearing, found out her oldest daughter had MS, would be moving back home, and had her 3 children in tow.  I can’t even imagine.  But my grandparents did it.  I’m certain they never thought twice about it.  You do for family, and so they did.

We were not very well behaved children.  They disciplined us quite regularly, and often harshly.  But I will always know they did the best they could.  I thought a lot about what they both had sacrificed for us while sitting there with that squeaky baby at the funeral.

I was 25 when my grandfather died.  He passed before my grandmother did.  I lived in Alaska at the time, and had been emailing my family about some medical stuff going on with me.  One of my tonsils was swollen, and they suspected cancer.  They wouldn’t know until they removed my tonsils, and I could choose when to schedule the operation.  I let my family know all of this, and scheduled my surgery.

The military hospital didn’t get to me until well into the afternoon on the day of my scheduled surgery, so they chose to keep me overnight.  I was in a ward, about 6 beds in this huge long room, but I didn’t care, I had some pretty good pain meds.  The next morning, I got called up to the nurses station for a phone call.  It was my husband (why he called instead of telling me in person, I will never know).  My sister had called him to tell him that my grandfather had passed away.  When I hung up, I grabbed a box of tissues right off the desk and walked back to my bed, sobbing.  I asked the doctor if I could go to the funeral.  No flying for two weeks he said.  Too much of a chance for bleeding.

The next 2 weeks were a blur.  I don’t recommend a tonsillectomy as an adult, that’s for sure.  But the day I started to wean off of the pain meds, the grief hit me.  I had lost my Papaw.  If my grandparents were yin and yang, he was the kindness of my childhood.  I appreciated the glint in my grandmother’s eyes, but Papaw was kind.  He spanked us…. sometimes… but it was a lot more of a “scheduled” kinda thing.  He thought out his punishment and wasn’t rash.  By the time it hit me, he had been buried.  He was gone.  No closure, no last respects.  I sobbed so much that I threw up.  Not a good idea, I can assure you.  And I went back on my pain meds.  I needed to be numb.

I felt so much guilt for not saying my goodbyes… for not being there to support my family.  Even as I type this, I’m in tears.  The grief has a way of washing in… especially when we re-open the wound.   But sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do.   I now remember my grandparents regularly and fondly.  For how they lived.  My grandmother was like this blazing comet.  My grandfather more like well… when I picture him, I see smiling eyes.

Their deaths helped to form me… just as their lives did.

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I’ve been traveling a LOT in the past month, well, since Micky’s accident on the 5th.  Traveling 4 hours away as often as we could.  And since my love always drives on trips, that left me with a lot of free time.  On one of the trips, I read a book by Suzanne Jauchius called “You Know Your Way Home”.  It was an awesome book, by a local “celebrity”, a psychic, and it’s an autobiography.  But this post isn’t really about that (though I do recommend the book).

I was recently asked in Goddess Leonie’s Goddess Circle what words of wisdom I would impart… well, a thread was posted with requests, so I answered.  I talked a little about the book and said that would be my wisdom.  You know your way home.  That one phrase reminded me of so many things.

As I shared here, I was in the middle of a meltdown before receiving news of Micky’s accident.  I was spiraling downward.  I was sucked into an abyss caused by too much work at a job that doesn’t fill my well, and too much exhaustion to work on one that totally fills me.  And I forgot that I know my way home.  I was barely treading water when I received the call about Micky.  And within an hour I was in the car, on the way.  On the way to a town I hadn’t lived in for over 10 years.  On the way to a family that I became a part of a little over 20 years ago.  A family that I dropped out of about 8 years ago, a family that despite everything embraced me 4 years ago when we came together for another family emergency.  And I remembered my way home.

I remembered that home is not about bickering.  It is not about holding grudges against my ex’s girlfriend.  Grudges from my own pride at wanting to be my boys’ mom.  Home is about remembering my role and knowing they appreciate me for me.  Home is where I can appreciate ALL of the adults who love my children.  Home is where we can all take some time to raft down the river, to go out to eat, and hold each other tight while awaiting news.

All of that reminded me.  I know my way home.  It helped me to remember how to get back to that business that I love.  It is helping me still, to fight for time to make that business grow.  Home is about everyone using their skills and gifts for the greater good.   I’m so happy to have remembered that all along I knew my way home.

When you are treading water, struggling to keep your head up, and tired, oh so tired, say those words to yourself.  You know your way home.

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