Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Remembering ... and celebrating.

These last couple days I've had so many thoughts running through my head it's hard to sit down and write any one of them out. Today is no different, but there are a few that come to the forefront.

First, today marks one year since my grandma - my mom's mom - died. That day was much like today - cold, but sunny and pretty. I remember because after standing vigil at her bedside around the clock for several days I had decided to finally go home, sleep in my bed, hug my kids, and get them off to school for a little sense of normalcy, then go back to be with grandma and my parents and aunt and uncle. About the time the sun was coming up on that Tuesday morning and I was saying goodbye to Sam and Rachel, grandma took her last breath. When my dad told me over the phone I was not sad that I wasn't there. I knew it could happen at any time and I was OK with that. I chose to go home to my kids that night because that's where grandma would have wanted me. There were so many times over the weeks before she died that she was in pain or tired and she would ask me about my kids. She'd tell me to go get them, go be with them. Because that was grandma: she would rather you focus your attention on someone else, even if she was the one in need.

When I finally did get to the rest home that day I kissed grandma's forehead, still warm, and reminded myself that her body was merely a vessel that had carried a precious spirit, a soul which I believe left this world long before her body gave up the fight.

She was my last remaining grandparent and I was honored to spend the last few months of her life helping to care for her. I miss her terribly. And tomorrow is my mom's birthday, which adds some level of weird emotion ... to want to celebrate life and allow ourselves to continue to grieve at the same time. Incidentally, my other grandma - my dad's mom - also died in February. It was 1995, I was a freshman in college, and I still miss her, too. My relationships with my two grandmas were different, but both very special. I am so fortunate, so blessed, to have had time to know each of them.

Today is also Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent for Christians. I've written about that before, here. Last night the kids and I had a traditional Danish aebleskiver dinner with folks from church as our own way of celebrating "Fat Tuesday" and tonight I plan to attend the Ash Wednesday service. Which leads me to the third big thought in my brain today ... that Steve is on his way home for a few days' visit. I have a feeling the kids will want to hang out with him, or waiting for him, rather than take the time to go to church with me, and I'm OK with that. Spending time with daddy is important.

And besides, I'll have plenty of opportunity to get those little buggers into church over the next 40 days of the lenten season.

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