Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Five years…

Last night, as I was pushing myself through the last of my cardio session a song came on my Zune, Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Greenday.  Sometimes when I hear this song I smile.  Sometimes when I hear this song I cry.  But always when I hear this song, I think of my mom.

Today is the fifth anniversary of her death and tomorrow would have been her fifty-fourth birthday.  So it wasn't any surprise to me when I felt my eyes welling up a little with tears.  I finished up my session, went to my car, and had a moment to myself. 

When I got home from the gym and saw Jason, he gave me a strong hug.  He saw my eyes and he knows me that well.  These two days of the year I am a little more emotional and I love that he knows me well enough to just know that about me.  He helps me get through these two days by making me laugh, or bringing up a funny memory, or simply hugging me and letting me know that it is okay to cry.

I'll admit that in the five years since her passing, the idea of her being gone has gotten "easier", but I don't think it will ever be "easy".  It's just something that I unfortunately have to live with.  It isn't going to change, she isn't coming back, and I have to live my life.  She would want it this way, I know.  But sometimes...I have to remind myself she is gone.  It could be some random thing, like washing the dishes, and I will think of something that I want to tell her and realize that I can't. 

Like, for example, last week when Sabrina fell and had to get stitches.  We were winding down after a busy day and I was in Sammy's room with both of the twins.  I was stacking some books right next to the bed and the twins were jumping.  Of course I told them, "No jumping on the bed", but my warning was not heeded instantly and being the end of the day I was tired, knew I would be finishing up my task in a moment and be able to get them down....I let it slide just that one time.  And that is when Sabrina fell.  Go figures, the ONE time I'm not super firm on safety.  What followed after was a little bit of chaos (okay, maybe a lot), a lot of worry, plenty of tears from me and Sabrina, and finally, at the hospital, calmness after knowing she would be okay after having some stitches. 

While I was at the hospital I talked to Jason of course, a friend that was coming to help us and pick us up, and a few family members, either by text or phone.  On such a night, I know I would have talked to my mom, if she had been here.  I would have expressed all of my worry and emotions to her...."will there be a be scar?, I can't believe I didn't get them down, I ALWAYS do, OMG mom, waaaaaaay too much blood for me, remember when I had stitches?".  These would have been among the things I would talk to her about.  She would have made me feel better.  She would have pointed out that kids fall at one point or another, that the scar won't be that visible because it is on her eyebrow, and yes, she remembered when I had to have stitches.  She would have said everything to me that everyone else said to make me feel better about the situation, but it would have been my mom saying it.  It doesn't make what anyone else said less important.  It just makes it one more conversation with her that I will never get to have.

Not on the phone, anyways.  ;)

And yet, I'm okay.  Really, I am.  I have my moments of sadness, my moments of happy memories, and yes, on occasion, my moments of anger.  But the moments of anger and sadness are far, far fewer than they used to be.  Though we had our tough times together, the fact is that I had twenty-eight years with my mother. Twenty-eight years is a lot more than some people ever get. 

One of my "cliché" quotes is, "If I didn't laugh, I'd cry".  For me that is so true.  So most often than not, I'll try and find the humor in a memory when thinking about my mother.  The times she laughed and smiled....for who really wants to remember sadness and bad times about a person who is no longer here?  Isn't it the good memories that we want to reflect upon anyways?  The ones that we will always remember, always cherish, and want to duplicate?

The memory that came to me this morning was on her birthday…well, it had to be the year 2001.  We had a BBQ over my brother’s house for her birthday and I think we were getting ready to open some gifts.  Michelle disappeared into the back bedroom with Lenny for a few minutes and I remember thinking, “Well, that is odd.”  But when they came out everything seemed fine.  My mom started opening gifts and her response to one was, “This is just what I wanted!”.  Michelle laughed and said, “Wait, I thought you wanted a grandbaby?”

“Well, yeah, sure…..” my mom started.  And then realized what news was being told.  I think she asked if they were serious (which they were!) and what followed was excitement, joy, probably a few tears, but sheer happiness.  And nine months later Alexis Danielle made her debut.  She loved her to pieces, as we all did.  Not too long after came along lil’ Lenny, who she adored as well. 

That day is just one that brings a smile to my face.  We were always having some impromptu BBQ over my parents (and later my brothers).  I could talk of a hundred different good memories on here that would make me smile, but that could take a while.

Instead, I invite anyone reading this who actually knew my mom to think about a memory of her that makes you smile or makes you laugh.  Share if you like.   If you cry too, well that is okay.  Laughter through tears is a good emotion as well.   I’ve already cried today, but I’ve already laughed.  I’m sure I will repeat both through out the day.

One more thing….I am so bummed I don’t have any pictures to share of my mom.  The most recent ones of her would have been from 2005 or 2004 and I believe I still had pictures printed off then and I never scanned them in.  It feels odd not attaching a picture to my blog though…..

Here is a picture that would make her smile, without a doubt.

Her four grandbabies:

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Love you mom.  Always.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gram Gram

I’ve been neglecting my blog, I know.  Life is busy as always, but I know I need to make a better effort to get over here.  I’ll do my best.

For the past few weeks my grandma has been visiting us from Michigan.  I can’t even believe I actually got her here…I think she wanted to visit, but doesn’t like the idea of traveling too much anymore.  But anyways, we did get her here.

She stayed for about three weeks and left just this morning.  Jason had to travel to Las Vegas for work so he took a layover in Detroit so she wouldn’t have to fly alone.  They had to take the early flight out—very early—they left the house at 4:30 am today.   As I went to hug her good-bye, the sadness I felt about her departure all came pouring out as did hers.  I love you’s were exchanged and tears fell down on my cheeks as I watched her walk to the car.  Jason gave me the kind of hug he knew I needed in that moment in time, kissed me good-bye, and he headed out also.

I went back to bed.

Upon awakening I realized today was going to be one of those lazy days.  I felt deserving of it, but still a little guilty nonetheless.  I will allow myself to feel a little sad today, but not tomorrow or the days after.  Because even though I am missing Jason and my grandma, staying in my PJ’s doesn’t really help me in the long run. 

Instead, I’d rather remember the extra special time spent with my grandma while she was here:   How the twins wake up now everyone morning asking if Gram Gram is still asleep.  Sammy excitedly telling her that he went on the potty while Sabrina models an endless display of clothing and my shoes.  How both of the twins have gotten exceptionally good at putting toys away—or at least out of the way of a walking path so “Gram Gram doesn’t trip”.  The joy she took in simple pleasures like making them french toast for breakfast and showing them how to do a word search puzzle.

One of the best memories (which I didn’t get a video or picture off, but I will remember nonetheless).  We were eating something for dinner (can’t remember), and Sabrina was eating away at her plate while Sammy was kind of picking at his.

Grandma: “Oh Sabrina, you’re going to town on your dinner!”

Sabrina smiles and keeps eating dinner.

Sammy, wanting to get involved, starts eating his dinner and exclaims, “Look Gram Gram!  I go to town!”

Grandma: “Oh yes Sammy, you go to town too!”

Every meal thereafter both the twins would exclaim to Gram Gram how they were “going to town” on their meals.  So cute.

I was able to capture a few pics here and there:

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Love you Gram Gram.  We shall see you soon….