Sunday, July 5, 2009

Time for Reflection

My grandma has been gone a year now. Anyone who grew up raised by their grandma probably understands when I say my grandma was not what most people I know think of as a grandmother -- I didn't feel any sense of generational separation from her, I mostly just felt the "mother" in "grandmother." My grandma was one of the very best friends I have ever known, and she was one of the few heroes in my life. I adored her, I adore her still.

As this year of mourning closes, I feel like I am emerging from a dark, dank well --- like I've slowly been creeping toward the light. No one knew how sad I was but me, and while I will always miss her, while I will always long for her, I think it's good that I'm letting go of the grief drop by drop. I know she'd be glad. My grandma, a part of me, is always with me.

Before she died, my grandma was sick for the better part of a year. If I'm totally honest about it, that year was harder. As bitter as it is to have her gone from me, it was a far heavier weight to bear to hold her here while she suffered. In some ways she felt farther away during her sickness than she does now.

That year, too -- the time when she became ill -- was also the time of diagnosing the rooster. When the formal diagnosis came, the developmental pediatrician tried as best she could to encourage optimism. My husband and I regularly reflect on how she told us, "You're going to have work your @sses off for a couple of years, and then we'll all have a better sense of where we are, but I have a good feeling that the hard work will pay off, and you'll find the strategies he needs to deal with many of the challenges we're now facing."

I won't shock everyone and go all glass-half-full on you, because that is not my way, but I will say this: we have indeed worked our @sses off around here, and, while we have PLENTY more work (and plenty more @ass) to go, we are finding strategies to deal with many of the challenges we've faced. I hope we will do as well with the next challenges when they come along.

We have been all about the milestones here lately; we've celebrated a half dozen birthdays and some anniversaries, and we've reflected on losses, and we're mostly done with diapers (in the waking hours at least) at Casa de Rooster, and I've lost enough weight that I'm closing in on my goal. Today, I woke up and felt almost like I'd rediscovered my long lost self. Oh, I'm still pretty exhausted, and I'm still worried about this and that and the other thing, and the gray hairs are in a race with wrinkles, but the mantle of funk is shedding away some, and I feel somewhat renewed.

Today, we zipped down the wide open 101 freeway and looked out at the ocean. We stopped for gas and the breeze blew and the sun shone gentler than ever. I held hands with Peaches as we walked to a little cafe and told her that I needed stop for a minute and look at her and absorb a really perfect moment. I expected her usual kind of response: "Why?" Instead, she said, "I love you, mommy." A little while later I scooped up the Rooster and I said, "I love you a hundred percent." I expected his usual kind of reply: "No!" Or maybe one of his new favorites: "What does that mean?" Instead, his face lit into this magical, melty smile, and he said, "I love YOU one hundred percent!" His smile has potent charm, and I don't care if that sounds like boastful mother talk, it's just true!

Tomorrow starts our first full week of work/school/camp since early June. I don't kid myself about it. We're not looking at a week of roses. But I can't remember that last time I faced a week like this and felt even the slightest bit capable, like I do tonight.

(And yes, I still worry about the revenge of the deities. I don't feel THAT much better...)


Anonymous said...

'the slightest bit capable'

at my very best moments, that's exactly what i feel.

this post felt like a deep, cleansing breath. thanks for sharing it!

pixiemama said...

I'm fluttering my fingers over my head for you with the biggest grin on my face.

And lady, you don't have wrinkles and gray hair for god's sakes! You are perfection! You are MY SkyBluePink.