Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Change, Big Or Small, Is a Real Challenge"

“... I will be in the hospital Easter, but remember I love you. God bless you, dear one.” 

My Grandma, always putting others first, in the Spring of 2006. She wrote the words in a Easter card, the last legible writing I ever received from her.
“I love you more.” 
My Grandma would say that to me each time she ended a phone call with me. I can hear her saying it to me, it’s the whisper of the faintest distance in the dead of night. In my heart I say, “I love you.”
I can feel her say, “I love you more.”
Since my last post about not wanting worry wrinkles, a part of my life changed. A significant part is no longer and now that is part of my journey.
I believe you don’t necessarily have to be a religious person to experience God’s grace. In a year, for me, that’s been full of changes, both good, and bad, and somewhere in between, grace defines me. 
She, my Grandma, taught me to affect my circumstances, and not to be affected by them. 
Tears, they may stream like a slow, but steady drizzle from a faucet, onto my face, down the curve of my lips, and into my mouth, but they are happy tears. The salty sensation, the cool wet kiss of my own emotions on my cheek, remind me again of the resilience, the promise, and gradual, if not certain, passage to happiness. 
My Grandma suffered a stroke in June 2006. I never experienced her the same after that. In my memory, she is this strong-willed person who said, “Don’t give up on me just yet.” 
She died a few months later. It was grief, and to this day, is grief of the deepest magnitude I have experienced.There is a hero for every person and in every family for different reasons and at different times. My hero is, and has been, my Grandma.
In the days, if not minutes, before she passed away, I wrote some words down that resonate quite deeply with me now: 
I’m going through the motions of going to work and doing my job and feeling like I’m a spectator of my own life. Certain things happen in slow motion because my mind is so preoccupied on what’s happening outside of the present moment that I forget to notice it. People talk to me and I miss what they say and sometimes don’t remember hearing them at all.  I’m told this is normal and that it will come and it will go. Then, for an instant, something triggers and I’m fighting tears, but just for a moment, until I return to my vacant mind of going through the motions.

Grandma wouldn’t want me to just go through the motions. 
It does not matter what loss one is experiencing, because loss is the one unifying factor of life. Maybe not loss, but the fear of failure realized, or the fear of loss realized, the fear, the very worry, and the edge of doubt you sat on top of, when it slips out, and it’s realized; we’ve all been there. Also, let me be the umpteenth person to say that sometimes loss is a blessing in disguise, we just don't know it yet.
It is the one thing everyone goes through and yet that does not make it any easier because of the circumstances and the people involved. It is really only being experienced in one unique way for each person grieving.
It hurts, because very few people understand, even though everyone can relate. 
I pray, one day, my children, whenever I do have them, I can share her eternal faith with them, so that they, too, might find a foundation and a hope for a future. 
Resilience, remember, is about accepting our circumstances even if they are different, or disappointing, or not what we thought they would be. We can do nothing, as Elizabeth Edwards said, but scream about what we have lost, or accept it, and try to put together something that’s good. 
Scratch that.
Appreciate. Prompts at http://www.reverb10.com/
This year, I appreciate my friends, the many of them who showed up on the doorstep of my heart when I least expected it.

I love you more.

I appreciate the memory of my Grandma, and the lasting wisdom she instilled in me. Certainly, I appreciate the faith, and the gentle tugging of my heart, when she would rub the small of my back when I wasn’t feeling well, and gently squeeze me in a life-affirming embrace.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing Annie. Amazing how pain resonates with each of us. It's like we know what "going through the motions" means even if we haven't shared the same pain. As for me, I do share the loss of a Grandma. We lost her this year. She used to call and sing Happy Birthday to each family member on their birthdays. My birthday passed over the summer... and it was bittersweet because her voice was missing.


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