30 Days of New – #9 – …..

Violet_sunset_by_00AngelicDevil00Continuing on the path of 30 Days of New… #9 is the most painful and most enlightening thing I’ve experienced.  Ever the girl with the glass half full, I sought the positive out of that all time low.  Aside from the birth of my two beautiful children, this experience rocked my world… So I’m thinking this is pretty much #9 – #30 and we’ll just move on from there.

If you read my last post almost two weeks ago, I was praying for the chance to be with grandmother here, on this plane, on Earth.  Well blogosphere, I got my wish.  She was here, but she was also gone.  That Friday night will forever remain in my memory.  When I walked in, only a faint light from the hallway shined in the bedroom as I whispered in her ear and her bright blue eyes surprised me as they popped open.  You see, she tried to talk to me when I first arrived that today.  “It seems, awfully, awfully, awfully…”  Those were the last words grandmother ever spoke.  She spoke those words to me.  I wish like crazy she could have completed that sentence.  I’m grateful that just two days earlier I popped in to give her a hug and kiss while she could still communicate.

In a matter of twelve hours, this woman that I adored was alive and well – and then it all changed.  I spent that Friday and Saturday keeping the company of my mother, drinking in all the information the hospice nurses were giving us, and generally in shock.  At 4:08 AM on Sunday March 9th, mother texted.  The time had come and I headed back up to that house that has, “a driveway that reaches the heavens.”  This is what the hospice nurse who pronounced grandmother’s passing said to the men coming from the funeral home,  where to look for mom and dad’s home.  It was a fitting description for the occasion.

I’m grateful, where I’ve been bitter for so many years.  Grandmother stepped up in my life in a huge way.  When I couldn’t turn to parents or friends, she was there.  And she was there well into my thirties.  How lucky am I?  In her passing, I feel as if I’ve found my true calling, and it’s so far from the petty money making business I’ve been in post college.  I’m so excited to turn my back on that life and open a new chapter in my life.  When I get there, this new chapter, I know grandmother will be smiling down upon me.  I know she will be proud of me.  I know she’ll have realized that without her, I might lack the motivation and drive to take on this new challenge, that will ultimately be a gift to me and my family.

If that experience weren’t enough to fill my 30 Days of New, as I experienced so many firsts in the epiphanypassing of gran… I’m rounding out the 30 with a random, slap you in the face – be patient, kind of experience.  The hubby and I like our beer, and there is a store a hop-skip-and-a-jump from home that carries our specialty beers.  I went there tonight and was happy to see my favorite employee of the establishment there.  The first time she ever scanned my hefty beer purchase, she stopped, looked me so seriously in the eye and said, “You look just like Rebecca from Pretty Little Liars.”  It made me laugh…  I started watching that show on Netflix because of this girl.  Ever since that first meeting, we exchange witty banter, talk about the show and just generally exchange a hefty smile.  It’s not often you get to hit it off with a perfect stranger.  So tonight, when I randomly found out she’s waiting on a pancreas transplant, and it will occur in the city I’m moving to… Well, I just had to smile.  Gran showed me this.  She made sure I knew.  I am confident my new friend will be in the city I’m moving to, undergoing a major life changing surgery…. And I will be there for her.

There have been many situations that have shown me to not judge people, don’t get angry or even rude and hasty with strangers.  Who knows what their day was like today.  What are they looking forward to tomorrow?  If I take anything positive away from the past two weeks, it will be to make a concerted effort to be more compassionate and calm.  It’s so easy to get caught up in life.  It’s not an easy one, I don’t care who you are… it’s never easy all the time.  And we are all just the same, going along, wanting to love what we do and who we’re with.  We all face obstacles in our paths…

This brings me to my next personal challenge… 30 Days of Kindness.  I still have a heavy heart, but I’m wholeheartedly looking forward to tomorrow.  “And I ain’t got no worries, cuz I ain’t in no hurry at all…” kindness-random


FOUR – Celebrate What is Good

FourCelebrate What is Good

Look for signs of progress (beyond pounds lost) and rejoice when you find them. Give yourself a pat on the back every time you make your health a priority.

So I’ve taken a long break from 101 days of blogging… but only because I had the block.  Massive wall in my way, not letting my brain function, pain in the booty writer’s block.  Then something happened in December.  I took a short shopping trip a couple of weeks before Christmas with my parents.  At first I wasn’t going to go… I had a headache, too much bubbly and not enough sleep the evening before.  But after letting the voices scramble and ramble around my brain like a slow game of Yahtzee, I decided to go.

It was about a 50 minute jaunt across the bland brown desert.  The sky a tad bit grey, my parents not saying to much of anything that made sense to me, Coffee House melodies lightly played, and I remembered I forgot to pay a credit card bill that was due that day.  In all it’s glory, my smart phone failed (yet again) at logging into the cc website to make the payment – so I had to call and do the stupid payment over the phone, but it was automated!  It took me two tries to get the freaking payment made, all-the-while; odors of the dairies snuck their way into the car…Ick this is why I hate the drive to El Paso.

The mall was surprisingly open, not overrun with last minute shoppers like myself.  Store number one, nothing, nada, zilch!  Store number two, I end up having to call my eight year old and ask him what his dad’s shoe size is!  Yet another, FAIL!  Then I walked into Old Navy (of all places), wouldn’t you know I was able to tackle 90 percent of my shopping there???

Back to Macy’s (store number one), I run right into my mom, and then together we run into my dad.  They too got a lot of their shopping done in one store.  We collectively agreed, we were over shopping and mom said we were off to lunch!  Which was good, my stomach was aching, my head throbbing, hands shaking.  Something just didn’t feel right any more.gemstones-elephant-in-the-room-640x330

Sitting down at a high-top at one of my mom’s favorite grub spots, we each ordered off the eclectic menu and chatted about our family that would soon be coming into town, meals we would share, activities we would immerse ourselves in…the chatter went on and on, anything to avoid the elephant in the room.

For the past year, my dear father had been grappling with care decisions for my grandfather, whose health was rapidly declining due to the effects of a neurological disorder twisted with a form of dementia.  It’s amazing how these two diseases robbed a healthy person of mind/body function.  Last year at this time, my hubby and I met my dad and grandfather out for a snack and a drink, then my dad took my grandfather to a football game.  Fast forward six months – granddad was in a Veteran’s home because he needed specific care and was not able to get it from an in-home health service.

I’ve seen both of my parents lose a parent when I was younger.  It was upsetting to say the least.  But as a full-grown adult, to witness my father attempting to make decisions for his father (without the assistance of his siblings), really sunk my heart and dimmed my soul.

Mom went to the restaurant’s gift shop; it was as wild as the menu.  Dad and I sat silent while waiting for the check.  I couldn’t have timed his phone ringing any better.  It’s as if it were an emotional movie playing out in reality.  I held my breath, but he didn’t answer the call.  Instead, he signed the credit card slip for lunch and helped me down from my chair.  As we perused the gift shop, dad disappeared.  Mom and I got lost in the waves of one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments and whimsical gifts.  We laughed, chose some more gifts to give and were soon on our way home.

I liked spending time with them like this.  It made me remember what it was like growing up, made me miss my brother.  My eyes began to fill with tears.  I tasted one drop of salt on my lip when dad’s phone began to buzz again.  He quickly disabled blue tooth.  He listened, I listened, my mom grabbed his hand.  More tears dripped from my eyelids and slid down my cheeks.  I quickly brushed the emotion away from my skin as I caught my father’s eye in the rear view mirror.  His responses to the caller were short but courteous.  Silence.

Mom asked if it was the doctor.  Answer – yes.  Mom asked, “is it what we thought”.  Answer – yes.  I had no clue what their cloudy conversation was about, but just as quickly as they spoke, I decoded.  I felt like a little kid again, sitting there in the back seat of the family car.

That was a tiring ride home.  My eyes were heavy, my heart heavier as I unlocked my front door.  There before me, was a family of my own.  Suddenly, I didn’t feel like a little kid any more.  Just a sad lonely adult.  I barely was filled in on the goings-on, when I received a text message from my mother.  They were off to see my grandfather.  I asked if I should go, but they were already on their way out of town…  I filled my hubby in.  He was as he always is, my rock.  He wrapped his arms around me, my warm blanket of comfort.

A few hours later, my dad texted the family to say my grandfather was resting comfortably and that he was in God’s hands… A few hours after that, just after midnight, curiously, I received the same text message.  The next morning, my phone rang.  It was dad, he was seemingly cheerful.  Then oddly enough asked if I had received a text from him, I said yes, told him I received it twice.  He said that apparently he didn’t know how to text, and that just after midnight, my grandfather had passed.  I told my father I was so sorry for his loss, for our loss.  Silence.  “Dad?”  muffled sobs.  Later my mom told me that she listened to him call all the family members personally to let them know my grandfather had passed away.  He only cried when he told me.

2012 was an amazingly emotional ride.  My family grew stonger, my family swelled, it also dwindled.  But through it all, this is the first year I can say that I savored every high and every low.  I felt it all, let the light illuminate my way and actually dealt with my struggles head on…  There’s a lot going on in 2013, so much that I need to accomplish, time is ticking…as my brother told me late last year after our grandfather passed away, we are like vapor.

I can’t help but to say a little prayer of thanksgiving throughout my every day as I celebrate what is good. 

And with that, my writer’s block has vanished.  Every day that I get to live my life, there’s something new and meaningful to talk about.

Sunshine & Peace

#5 Repossess Your Health

Reclaim responsibility for your well-being; own your daily choices; minimize your reliance on the broken sick-care system.