Sunday, February 1, 2009

Going on

This weekend has gone on even though thoughts of my grandma are always there. We've had some errands to run, getting ready for our trip up to WV on Wednesday to go to my grandma's wake and funeral. My son started baseball practice last night. I sent my husband and son to Walmart today and I'm here cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready to cook lunch.

It's all so incredibly normal and I feel a little guilty about it.

I feel guilty because she's gone and my life is going on. I know that sounds crazy. She was 89 and even though we didn't think she'd go so soon, it wasn't as if we didn't know it would happen in the near future.

My life will, of course, go on (Lord willing.). I have things to take care of like a home and family. My husband and son will still do the weekly stickball this afternoon. We'll watch the Super Bowl tonight. Well, they will and I'll sit there and cross-stitch and pretend to be interested.

Tomorrow morning my husband will go to work. I'll school my son and probably be aggravated that I have to pick up 20 pairs of socks off the floor. I'll do laundry. I'll cook meals and wash dishes. Life will proceed as normal.

But in the back of my mind all week, I'll remember that she's not there anymore. She's not in that house in Beckley going about her day. I'll think about the fact that there's no one to call anymore and check on at that phone number. No reason for me to send cards that read "To my Grandmother" to her address. No reason to remind myself to pick up the phone on December 3rd every year to wish her a happy birthday.

I'll never hear her say my name again. Never get another card from her. I'll never again be able to ask her what it was like to be a wife and mom back then. I'll never hear her talk about her life or try to convince her to pull out those pictures so I can see her and my grandfather at the beginning of their life together. I'll never hear her use those unique expressions she has that no one else ever says.

And those special moments when I realize that this woman and I who share a middle name also share other traits won't happen anymore. I won't be able to discover anything else new about her.

It's difficult, but I draw some comfort from the fact that she lived these moments too. She was a wife and mom who lost family members and had to go on. She was a caretaker who had to make the best of things.

Even when the worst things were happening to her, like losing her daughter just a few weeks ago, and dealing with the uncertainty of her own health, she'd say "But you have to go on, Tina, because what else can you do?"

She's right. What else can you do? You go on, praying to ease the pain that losing her has caused. You pray for your family who are dealing with all the details. You thank God that she lived to the age of 89 and thank Him that He let you keep your grandma for so long.

You prepare for the little rituals, the customs of saying goodbye to her. A wake, a funeral, a graveside service. The meal at the church she was a member of for so long aftewards with family.

You tell stories, you spend time with family. You cry, you laugh, you cry some more.

Then you come home. You cook meals, do laundry, school your son, pick up socks.

You go on, remembering her, because what else can you do?


A. said...

I lost one of my Grandmothers when I graduated High School and the other right after I first became a Mom.

Both times I remember thinking it weird that things were going on like normal.

Then I realized, going on was the ultimate tribute. I'm always conscience of my Grandmothers when I cook something they loved or use one of their recipes. I remember my one Grandmother when I smell Dill. She always had a big patch in her garden.

I know they would both love the family we have become and would be shocked by the influence they have had on those that are still here.

You and your family are in my prayers. I'm so sorry for your grief.

Tina said...

Grandparents are so special. We never forget them. I know you're right that the ultimate tribute is to carry on. And knowing she is in heaven makes it easier.

Spending some days and nights with her while she was sick was a true gift. I will never forget those times helping to take care of her.

That's been on my mind a lot the past week.

Thanks, Amy!