Sunday, August 12, 2012

Poking My Head Out Of My Hiding Spot

I keep starting to write this post, and keep getting stonewalled before I can even get my thoughts out. After being away for so long, my brain feels rusty, the words coming out like water through and old tap. Slow, sluggish, discolored. Hard.

Where to begin when it has been so long? I look at my reader every day, the blog posts piling up, leaving me feeling like a complete jerk.

Hey everyone! Things are going PRI-TTTTTY well over here, so, like, keep on keepin on, mmmm'kay? I'll letcha know when I need you!

It's not like that. I read. And I want to comment, and say, yes, me too, I get it, I'm sorry. I feel like I keep saying the same things over and over.  But it is true. I get it. I am sad, too. I am sorry.

My grandmother died this past week. She was my last grandparent. She was 91. She was funny and crafty and enjoyed so many things in life. She was in pretty good health and outlived almost all of her friends and her husband and several other family members; I almost believed she'd live forever. Magical thinking strikes again. She had a knack for making you feel like you were her favorite, like everything you did was amazing and noteworthy.

She was my friend and I miss her, will always miss her. Even though she was old. Even though I knew she would eventually die. Even though.

E has been processing this all week. She was diagnosed with cancer a little over two weeks ago, went immediately into Hospice care and died a week and a half later. So fast, which I think maybe was a blessing to not have to suffer and worry for months, or years. But E has been asking questions:

"So GG is up in the stars? Can we visit her? Did you watch her climb up into the stars? Is she in that box but can't talk?"

And the one question that broke my heart, asked with a fleeting frown and almost tears:

"But who will be your grandma now?"

I feel lucky my boys got to meet her and know her. I feel lucky to have had her in my life.

I have a confession, too. I've been wanting to write about something for awhile but just, I don't know, didn't want to come across as a bitter crone.

No, no, nothing earth-shattering or life-altering.

Right after O was born a new family moved in across the street. We have since become friends with them, and it is just lovely. E and their oldest child are six months apart and play together so well. They were on the same soccer team this spring, even.

And their adorable daughter was born in March of 2010.

I'll let you go ahead and process that math, the permutations of children and possibility and what is and what is not, and what was and what was supposed to be.

And it's cool. I'll admit every so often I'll squint a little more carefully or think a little too hard and it will twist something in my midsection, but mostly it's cool. I'm 100% positive it's because of my youngest, my O. I am not ashamed to admit he has made these living arrangements a billion times more bearable.

But then the neighbors across the street, a different yet equally lovely and kind family, just had their second child. A girl. Born just over two years after their son.

It makes me dizzy, occasionally, to look across the street and think about . . . what, exactly? How we'd be a trio of matching families if my life hadn't taken a complete shit two and a half years ago when Calla died? Because matching families--whoopdeedoo--we have two amazing boys, so, like, whatevs?

Sigh. I just don't know. Maybe I should just crawl back under my rock, stick my head back in the sand and shut up. Be grateful and sad on my own time.

Just wanted to share.


  1. Oh I'm so sorry about your grandmother. I have both of my grandmothers left, one in good health, one not so much. Feel sad thinking about what lies ahead, even if they are old, even if it is the right "order". Just so sorry for you, MB. She sounds like a wonderful woman.
    And the neighbours thing, damn, that hurts. Most of my friends had babies in 2008, most their first and I'm constantly surrounded by four year olds so I get this, I do.

  2. Sorry to hear about your grandmother but I'm glad she had a nice, long run.

    We've been fortunate in our neighbors thus far but, I swear, if someone moves into this neighborhood with identical twin girls, I'm packing up and leaving. I just can't deal with the shadow family. I applaud your ability to deal with it.

  3. Oh Mary Beth. I thought my final grandparent, my mother's mother, would live forever too. She's always tell me that 'this will be the last time I see you' and I always smiled and said 'no it won't be.' Until, of course, one day it was.

    It's very hard to give up magical thinking. That people will live forever, that people come back from the dead. And all the 'even though's don't seem to make it hurt any less in some ways.

    Oh I'm sorry about the matching families. I'm surrounded by twins out here so I can't help but see the shadow child sometimes. Even with R. There are four so close in age, one missing and one toddling after who, maybe, wouldn't be here. I agree, he does it make it more bearable.

    But twin girls and a boy R's age. Nope. I would be packing up and leaving too. Just. not. quite. there. yet. Hopefully soon.

    Please don't disappear under your rock, I like having you around here x

  4. Sooo sorry about your grandma. My grandma was one of my best friends and never seeing them again is so hard. I'm very glad your sons got to meet her. I wish my grandma could have known Kai.

    The shadow families are haunting. Although honestly any family with all kids Alice and intact seems to be piercing for me. How lucky for them... But when they mirror your shoulda coulda woulda life it stings so much extra.

    I've been under a rock lately too. This place is too important for me to lose. You are one of the reasons its so important to me. Don't hide for too long :)

  5. Me too. I'm sorry about your Grandma. The only grand parent I have left is my grandma and she doesn't know who I am. So I completely understand the relief at a quick death than one that carries on for too long.

    I have decided that thinking just a little too hard about many things can cause that midsection twist. We just sold and packed our entreat house in two days and moved it. I had to keep myself from thinking "she was supposed to move with us" the entreat time I moved. It worked until tonight when we closed the door for the last time. Because... well.. she was supposed to be here.


  6. Hey friend, it's always worth the wait.

    I love that your Grandma always made you feel like you were the most special. She sounds like a wonderful woman. And oh what questions from your son! Sheesh.

    Peace from the left coast, and always, love...


  7. That comment took SEVEN word verifications to post.

    Just saying.

  8. I've been thinking about you a lot. I don't know what else to say... I miss you :)