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Thursday, July 19, 2018

As time goes by...




I've been fortunate to have people still check in on me even almost four months after my grandma has passed.  I still have reminders of her around me.  I have a shelf on a side armoire that has some of the cards she gave me over the years that surround my favorite picture of the two of us together.  In 2010, we were out for my birthday dinner, and she was sitting beside me and started talking about me being her first grandbaby, and I have my head on her shoulder with a smile on my face, and we're holding hands.  I can look at it and feel the love every day.  I blogged about one of the cards I have up there, and it was for my 25th birthday.  That was the first birthday after I'd been officially diagnosed with a stress disorder that affected me physically in ways I knew others wouldn't understand.  After a few conversations with her about how I didn't want to be compared to other people who used a similar condition to manipulate and excuse their bad behavior with her that I knew she understood and didn't judge me at all.  Those conversations ended with my head on her shoulder, in tears, as she assured me she didn't look at me that way and that I needed to take steps to be healthy even if that meant reducing contact with people who used to be important to me.  That card was a reminder that she valued my coming to her with my "secret" and shame of this new world I needed to navigate.   I had two people in my life who loved me that unconditionally and one of them is gone now.  It's hard to lose someone who loves you like that because you feel a little more alone than you did before.  Sometimes her hugs hello or goodbye had no idea what they were healing inside me, and I wish I'd told her when she was still here and able to understand what it meant.  I know she does now though.

This year has been a hard one in many ways...some I've shared, some I haven't.  As the Mr and I were having an emotional discussion the other night, in the middle of my tears, I blurted out "I miss Grandma."  I knew her hugs was one of the things that I needed most at that moment even if the situation we were discussing wasn't one I would've necessarily gone to her for.  It was a surprise even to me because I've felt pretty accepting of our new reality as much as you can be when you have no choice.  I still feel no relief per say but acceptance because what else can you do?

I try to see her every weekend if I can.  I brush off any grass clippings or bird "gifts" as she always liked a clean house and I know that would mean a lot to her for the new "house" to be clean.  Lord knows I didn't inherit her cleaning gene.  The flag I got with her picture on it that acknowledges her role as mom and grandma has been thankfully welcomed by the whole family.  You don't know the things some people may get their undies in a twist over so I'm glad this wasn't one of them.   They all say it makes it easier to talk to her with her smiling face there and everyone likes the picture I chose.  She so rarely showed teeth in her pics, and this one was a genuine smile, and she looked so pretty.

I'm sure the cards will come down soon, but for now, they've become part of the decor for me.  I think of her every day and smile.  I won't lie that on the rare occasion a flash of what she looked like the last time I saw her alive will sneak in there and I immediately redirect to something else.  I just can't handle it.  I think of something happier like at my graduation party she knew the way to my heart was not just through a stack of cash (I was 17, what can I say!?) but also a six pack of A1 steak sauce of my very own.  I was obsessed with the stuff as a kid, and after I'd leave from a visit, her bottle was always a little more empty than before I showed up.  She knew me well.  :-)

When we were sitting on the (almost) finished patio one morning, I said: "I wish grandma could see this."  I know she can, but I'd give anything to see her reaction in person and just see her sitting in one of the chairs enjoying the breeze and an iced tea.  Slowly, as time goes on, the gift she gave me of not wanting me to see her compromised allows me almost to erase the disease and only the good memories and times we had together to remain.  I think it's what lets me feel her so strongly still when I wish she were here for a hug or advice.  Sometimes I swear I hear her say "I know, sweetie" when I say I miss her in my private moments.  Whether it's a trick of the heart, brain or spiritual plane...I'm grateful for it.

What are you grateful for as time goes by?

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4 comments:

  1. It really hasn't been as long as it feels sometimes. But then when we visit her grave I see how normal the grass looks there now and all the changes there and it's hard to discern time there sometimes. I am so glad you got the flag and that the family has embraced it, you never know.

    As time goes by I am grateful for having known her and also seeing just how much of her is in you. She was a great person and now I know where you got it!

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  2. I'm so glad that more memories are coming through that give you great joy. Those special moments are branded on your heart and bring the same feels to the surface that you felt back then. What a gift that is! I have no doubt that she is talking to you, which is conveyed in the comfort you feel when you "hear it." The flag you did could not have been more perfect and it has given the entire family a real sense of connection with her.

    I'm grateful for the very difficult things I've been through in my life because of who I am today. I'm more comfortable in my skin as time goes by and I have less urge to people-please (which was chronic)and try to be the end-all be-all for people when it was never my place to even try. I'm learning to mind my own business, be less judgmental, and not over-explain who I am and why. I have meaningful friendships that allow me to be flawed and loved regardless. And I have a deep faith that reminds me of who I truly am when the rest of the world say I'm too this or too that, or not enough.

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  3. As I get older I find myself grateful for things I used to take for granted.

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  4. Unconditional love. As a child I took it for granted but after living a few decades I've encountered people who didn't have it or lost it too young, people adrift and truly, profoundly alone in the world. Some are angry, full of rage. Others give love too freely in the desperate hopes of getting some back. For all it hurts to lose someone, I am a stronger and better person for having loved and been loved in return.

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