I miss you...

I've been thinking about my Grandma Virginia a lot lately.  She kept telling me things were going to work out for me, Bobby, and the kids. It took losing her for me to finally believe her.  It took losing her for me to realize a lot of things.

It got tiring, the same old stories, all her complaints, how faraway from us she was.  The way she wasn't taking care of herself irritated me, and everyone else in my family. When Grandpa died, most of her did, too. But, there was a glimmer of her left, that little bit of her that would come out when we needed it the most...I miss her. 

There are things I beat myself up over.  I should have paid closer attention when she made her spaghetti sauce, I just can't get mine to taste like hers.  I should have watched her make meatballs, chicken noodle soup, her Italian cookies.  I should have drank in her smiles, her laughter, the way she smelled...

The last day I saw her at the hospital, she was sleeping when I waddled my almost 9 months pregnant body into her room, and plopped into a chair.  I just let her sleep, and I watched TV with the lady in the next bed, and held my belly while Elise kicked around.  It was quiet, peaceful.  When she woke up, she told me she didn't feel good, while she picked at her dinner. We talked about my upcoming c-section, and how excited she was, and how she knew that this little one was going to have dark hair.  When I got up to leave, I pinned Noah's one year picture up on her little board on the wall where she could see it.  I kissed her goodbye, and she told me she just wanted to come home.  That she was coming home at the end of the week. 

Sometimes, when something happens, when you lose someone, it's a blur.  The next day was anything but a blur.  The hospital called for my dad to come up, her body was shutting down and they didn't know why.  A few hours later we all gathered in that waiting area, waiting for some news.  I felt every single minute when we were sitting there.  When we went to the cafeteria to eat, when we went back up, every minute felt like hours.  I felt this...panic inside.  I tried to remain as calm as I could, tried to ignore the dread creeping up my spine. 

When they said we could go see her, I couldn't do it.  I could not go say goodbye to my Grandma. They weren't sure if it was goodbye yet, but I think we all knew it was.  I was afraid to face that pain, being so pregnant.  I wasn't strong enough..and a few hours later, she was gone. 

I couldn't break down, I just tried to stay calm for the baby inside me.  I felt weird, out of whack, wrong.  I wanted to scream, throw things, wail..but I just sat there.  I cried at the funeral, when my brother's voice broke up on that podium, talking about her.  I cried when I didn't feel good those few days, told my mom and dad I wished I had some chicken noodle soup from Grandma, but I never let myself feel that loss.

I cried a few weeks later on the way to the hospital, the morning I had my c-section. I cried because I was nervous, because I was happy, and because I knew she wasn't going to be there to hold my baby.  I cried harder when they pulled Elise out and Bobby answered yes to the first question I asked him, if she had dark hair like Grandma wanted.  

I finally broke down one night in the hospital.  I was all by myself, Ellie was in the nursery for the night.  I was full of emotions, so happy my baby was here, but still grieving that loss.  I could finally let myself feel that stabbing pain of loss I held in those last few weeks.  What a horrible night to be alone. 

Those holes inside you, those holes that can only be filled by those people that have left this world, you learn to live with them. But, that pain is always there.  That pang I got the other day when I found a card my Grandpa Dilas sent me that he wrote "be my Valentine" on.  When I was sewing Noah's dinosaur, oh so badly, I knew my Grandpa Mario would have thought my sewing was hilarious.  When I miss them so much, because I know they are really gone.  The way I'm crying right now, thinking about her, while it's pouring down rain outside.  I still miss her terribly, and I feel guilty because I was so damn irritated with her because she was so miserable.  I'm sorry, Grandma. 

She was right though, things are getting better.  She knew what she was talking about.  I wished I would have listened closer to what she was telling me. Well Grandma, I'm listening now. 

I love you. 

That dark haired baby she dreamed about.   She got her wish...until Ellie's hair came in lighter, that is.

 The history of our grandparents
 is remembered not with rose petals
but in the laughter and tears of their children
and their children's children.
It is into us that the lives
of grandparents have gone.
It is in us that their history becomes a future.
-Charles and Ann Morse

As long as I can
I will look at this world for both of us. 
As long as I can I will laugh with the birds,
I will sing with the flowers,
I will pray to the stars,
 for both of us. 

Love by a different name

"A first child is your own best foot forward,
and how you do cheer
those little feet as they strike out.
You examine every turn of flesh
for precocity, and crow it to the world.
But the last one: the baby who trails her scent
like a flag of surrender through your life
when there will be no more coming after--oh,
that' s love by a different name."
— Barbara Kingsolver

10 Warning Signs You Have A 10 Year Old.

Here are some warning signs you may have a 10 year old girl living in your house:

1. Justice catalogs, Justice clothing, Justice bookbags, Justice jewelery, Justice headbands, and Justice shoes laying everywhere.

2. Glitter in your dryer lint trap, even when you do a load of towels only.

3. Your stuff starts mysteriously disappearing and showing up in their bedroom, and they have no idea how it got there.

4. Gobs of toothpaste in the bathroom sink.

5. That sense of foreboding you get when you look at the clock and realize it's time to wake them up. They poke their head out of their blanket and give you The Stare

6. They start asking you things like, "how old were you when you started shaving your legs?" 

7. Justin Beiber posters with chapstick kiss marks on them.

8. You start saying things you swore you'd never say.  I actually said to her yesterday, "you think you live in a hotel?  You think I was put on this earth to pick up after you and be your maid?" 

9. When you seriously think about scheduling a doctor's appointment because you're pretty sure you can't be ignored this much without some sort of hearing problem involved.

10. When you realize, with dread, that she's only 10 and it's going to get worse! 

To My Son

Last night while you were falling asleep you asked me to tell you who loves you.  I love that you found comfort through your fever and sore throat with family.  The smile on your face as we went down the list made my heart ache, in such a good way.  "Daddy loves you, Mama loves you, Emmy loves you, Ellie loves you, Papa and Grammy love you..."  On and on through our whole family. It's amazing to me how much the love of our family is so prevalent in your life.  Hearing how much everyone loves you through the haze of sickness  relaxed you into sleep.  I'm glad you know how much love there is in this world for you, and how blessed we are that you love us back.   It's moments like last night that make me so much more aware of the beauty of my life.  

Thank God for you, my little boy. 

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.

-- George Eliot

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

-- Elizabeth Stone