Tuesday, January 31, 2012

he's two now. my boy is two.

there's really so much to tell you ... and i promise.  i think of those things that i wish that i want to tell you ... but sometimes i just can't.  because of the major lack of time and the lack of motivation too.

but something that i really did need to stop by to say?

my boy is two now.


and he has a funny thing lately about not wanting to look into the camera.  the boy better get over that quickly.  and yes.  that is a finn finger sized chunk scooped from the middle of the cake.  and yes.  elmo is driving the train.  choo choo.

and just because this is what i always do ... even though i'm superduper behind on blogging the 1/2 birthdays around here ...

so ... two reasons why i love you, little man.

i wish it was easier to narrow down to two simple reasons why i'm so overly in love with you. 
it's not easy.
and i really need to get myself in bed.

so here goes.

your song that is always in your head.  in your heart. 
you sing.  all the time.  you are always singing a tune or humming or do-do-do-ing.  while playing cars...while driving tractors across my couch...while reading books.  while falling asleep...
it's just pretty much adorable.

your love that you have for your family.  you love big.  and it melts my heart when you tell me that you love me unprompted.  pamela was just so right when she told me that there is just *something* about the way that a boy loves his mama.  i get it now.

you are two.  and loved beyond measure.  happy birthday to my little blue caboose.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


and then she was gone.

the world feels a little bit lighter and a little bit lonelier.

quieter.  peaceful.  less rushed and busy and full of guilt of not being there this morning or this afternoon.  of feeling like we weren't giving her enough of our time and watching others give more.  more of the quiet and sitting in her room and wishing her life while wishing her passing on quietly. 

we were told hours.  and that was precisely what we had.  the knowledge pouring from people that seem to know so much more about the process of dying than us.  i'm not entirely certain that i want their knowledge.  but it was so nice of them to share at a moment when we needed to know. 

i knew of the hours.  shared the hours with you ... and tried to secure childcare after realizing that i really didn't feel that taking the kids with was a great idea.  childcare wasn't so easy to secure.  so i waited and readied the children for bedtime.  feeling rushed and full of angst.  short tempered and frustrated.

i sent the girly girls to watch television while i nursed the boy to sleep.

in the quiet ... i made myself peaceful and calm.  wished it upon myself.
and did.

i sang the ABCDEFGs and tinkle-tinkle-yittle-star and wheels-on-bus-wound-n-wound ... over and over.
he finally relaxed and slept.
i crept out and rushed the girly-girls into bed now that my dad had arrived.
my sister texted mom ... we're on our way. 
mom texted in response ... gma is gone.

hours spilled into minutes into seconds and drifted away.

we still went.

and we sat in her room while she laid there with her eyes open and her mouth agape and i watched her chest.  i knew that she was gone ... but i couldn't help but think about how her chest wasn't rising and falling with breath.  how i shouldn't be sitting in this room with a body.  how that's not just a body.  it's my grandma.  watching my mom ... more concerned with her and how she felt.  watching my aunts ... holding strong.  telling stories.  laughing.  all of us trying to keep the air light while stealing glances at her. 

or ... her body.

it's funny how you think that this is what you want for her ... but it's not what you want for us.  and how living is hard on the dying and how death is hard on the living. 

my mind flips and flops between it all.

we readied ourselves.  picked up our things.  and walked out. 

we walked out.

and honestly ... it was the hardest thing we did.  it was the hardest thing i did.  (i guess i can't speak for everyone else).  walking away and leaving her in the hospital room ... eyes wide open.  we left.  holding hands.  holding each other.  holding her belongings.  we walked out into the cold night.  feeling lost.  and light.  and heavy.
she's gone.

it's been days since i first started this post.  leaving you all hanging ... but i couldn't press the final publish post button. 

it didn't feel completely over yet.  i felt in between. 

i spent hours reading her life story that she had written long before her mind had forgotten it all.  pages and pages of happenings and dates and cities and names.  i poured over them and compiled the important pieces into a very condensed obituary.  i learned things about her and her family that i had never before known.  things that i'll likely share with you as i look into them further.  things that terrify me and enlighten me.  things that amaze me and astound me.  things. 

all of those things that happen between the once upon a time and the happily ever after. 


we traveled to where she was to be laid to rest.  we took her home. 

finn smiled when he saw grandma sleeping. 
i don't know how to explain that to an (almost) two year old.  we told him that grandma went bye bye.  he could repeat it.  but i'm not sure that he really knows.  but does he really need to?

we left her.
and it was so hard to walk away once again.  for the final time.  it was hard to leave her there in the cold windy air.  alone.  but not alone ... surrounded by her loved ones that preceded her.  brothers and parents.  my grandfather at her side.
i have a mason jar filled with flowers now ... sitting atop my refrigerator so that the cat doesn't chew them.  pink roses and snapdragons.  pink daisies and rose buds.  flowers that the kids gathered from her at her gravesite.  flowers that they held onto while watching our tears fall.  flowers that they carried across the state lines.  begging me to put into water just as soon as i was able ... so that they could hold onto them.

eventually those too will wilt and the petals will fall among the mess in the kitchen. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


her eyes flicker.  open.  staring.  but not focusing.  not looking at me. 


we're here.  we've been here for so many hours.  when we were told hours and maybe not overnight ... we were here.  all of us.  here.  by her bedside.  tears.  and hugs. 

and then we stayed.  in shifts.  so that she wouldn't be alone.  shifts of hours.  mornings.  afternoons.  nights.  days.

sometimes there was just one of us.
sometimes there were many.
some from far away.
some from near.

decisions that we didn't want to make were made.
decisions that we didn't want to talk about were discussed.

and now?  hours.

god.  this mountain of emotion and ups and downs and all over the place is what is the hardest. 
it shouldn't be hard.  this dying process should be easy and painless and peaceful.  someone should not have to try hard to move on to the next phase in life. 
her life has been lived fully.

and as for us?
we sit.
and think thoughts that we think we shouldn't be thinking. 
wishing that she would just let go.
wishing that her heart wasn't so strong.
wishing that she would close her eyes and fall peacefully asleep.
wishing that she would go and take her husband's hand as he led her to their next life.

i remember sitting in his lap.
i have that memory of him.

i don't remember sitting in hers.

she was never the soft, make cookies and cuddle on the couch grandmother.

she was hard.  and tough.  and strong.

she still is.

i've whispered i love yous to her more often in the past week than i have in my lifetime.  i've touched her shoulder and moved her hair out of her eyes.  i've consoled her during pain.  and shhh shhhhed her to sleep. 

i've started and stopped letters to her all week.
it's the curse of a writer, i suppose.  we feel ... and our fingers itch to lay words upon a surface. 
the next morning ... i look at the scratches and can't send them out for someone else to read. 

until today.
when i heard hours.



because i realized during writing this ... that it is actually tuesday ... and all good just write things happen on tuesday ... so i'm linking up.  go there.  read other people's scratches.  tell them how amazing they are.  because they probably took parts of their hours to just write something.  and it's truly amazing what hours can do.