Monthly Archives: April 2014

Well, The Jury Is In.

OK, so I was away for about two months at my “cottage” – actually a second home near my daughter and her family. I wasn’t sure how I would feel coming home to this house – a testament to the marriage and life together that was shared by me and my late husband. I wasn’t sure that the memories would not scream at me when I entered the door and guilt would not overcome my senses. Should I feel bad about being away and not caring for this place?  Should I feel guilty for escaping, even for a short time  from living  in the shadow of my life.

For those who have been following my blog and understand my confusion about how to proceed with my day- to- day life as it is, I would like to tell you that, to my surprise, I was actually not the least emotional about this house when I walked in the door – after all, it is a building – four walls and a roof.

Memories did not attack me as I thought they might. Instead, I checked the sump pump and replaced light  bulbs. I saw this house as I did my new one -an investment, a responsibility –  my house.

Was it still “my home”?  I have come to realize that a house is not a home without the family that makes it breathe – that makes it a viable, living entity. A house is only a house without its people. Memories of this place as “home” were hurting me because I did not want to let that “old” family go. I loved my family – my husband, my kids, my pets, my role as a mom, wife and nurturer.  I wanted it to stay just as it was – with all of its challenges. I was refusing to go on – I still am in some ways.

The simple fact that I did not become a puddle on the floor when I returned home after my vacation to the north during the worst winter in a decade caused me to heave a great sigh of relief to say the least.  Now I think I may be able to look forward instead of backward. I am becoming free to smile, to plan, to share, to love.

I dreaded the thought of coming into this beautiful, memory-rich house and taking the risk of having an overwhelming sense of loss once again – that did not happen. A step, I think, toward healing that enormous pain that we call grief.

The Verdict: Not Guilty

The Next Generation and a Lesson in Living

I have been babysitting my grandchildren after the loss of their grandpa – my partner grandparent – my daughter-in-law’s father.
My grandson is four years old and my granddaughter is one year old.
Today, during the funeral of my partner grandparent, I was caring for my beautiful little granddaughter. I fed her lunch – which she wolfed down in no time flat and then we had a play with a new toy. She is brilliant.
I took her to her room and changed her diaper – can’t have anything interfere with that two hour afternoon nap – you know – that time when the adult in charge can sit and actually hear the quiet , read a magazine article or watch a TV show!!!
In an hour, she was awake and complaining and sure enough, a full, dirty diaper was evident when I opened her bedroom door.
This was not enough of a nap – I knew she would be miserable if left to play and stay active – besides, she looked a little bit sleepy anyway…so I got a warm blanket and tucked it around her and around me. I laid her on my chest and put my trusty lazyboy in the recline position. She did not fuss, she did not complain at all. She cuddled into my chest and tried to get back to sleep – she actually reminded me of myself many a night at three o’clock when I want sleep but cannot seem to find it until I turn my brain off and feel totally secure.
She was comforted by me, by my presence. She was cosy and comfortable – you could see it in her face. She trusted me and, dare I say it?….I think she actually expressed her love for me in those eyes, in her expression.
We were there for another hour of nap time. We laid together as two women in this family who have a secure tie that will bind us forever. She breathed so peacefully, she squirmed a little once and a while and she kept touching my hand, my arm. my chin…are you still there grandma to protect me????

Yes, my love, I am still here.