Monday, August 03, 2009

When it rains... most certainly pours. Our weekend was a blur as we went to and from the nursing home, and did a canine rescue run in the rain (with pooping Pomeranians, just for fun). When I talked to my mom today, she said that she and my aunt don't want anyone up to visit tonight. Grandma wants no extraordinary measures, so we're letting nature take its course. And I have to tell you, this is almost harder than watching my dad die of cancer. My grandparents pretty much raised me. This is like watching a huge chunk of my childhood disappear. Home wasn't a lot of fun and games for a variety of reasons, and Grandma & Grandpa's place was stable, happy and quiet. For those reasons alone, I was able to flourish as a child. Due to the instability of home, I was able to become strong. In a large part, I am very ready for God to take her. Now would be good. She would be totally mortified to see herself. No dentures; hair in disarray, in a Depends. She was always put together: shoes, neat clothes, hair done, lipstick... the whole package. We've encouraged her to go. I've told her that Grandpa's been waiting. The polka band is playing and the dance floor is ready. Her sisters and brothers are all there ready to greet her. She needs to get the gate ready for our second cousin, who's in hospice care in the end stages of breast cancer.

But the other part of me, the kid part, is having a rough time of this. Grandma's memory hasn't been what it used to be. And I have been TREMENDOUSLY lax in visiting her. Much more so than I should have been (it's that whole "not good with sick people" thing rearing its head). And the truth is, I don't want to remember her like she is now.

I want to remember her teaching me to crochet. Teaching me the "best way" to iron. Hanging clothes on the line. I remember being so proud when I was tall enough to string the clothesline from the garage to the house! Going over her recipe for chicken and rice - which, by the way, I have NEVER mastered. Trying to replicate her dumplings. A million memories come at me all at once, almost a sensory overload. And it's all I can do to hold it together today.

Hubby asks if I'm fine. Yeah. Sort of. Today is a weepy day, but I guess it's better to get it out now. We have her directions for the funeral. The dress is ready. I have the crystal rosary. We know the songs. Now, all we can do is wait. For God's own time, which is not our time. In a complete about-face, the dog is improving. She's blind in one eye, but we think the meds are working and she was back to her goofy self last night. I had a friend who used to write to me. She used to say that life was like a zebra. You got both black stripes and white stripes. Right now, it seems like the black stripe is pretty wide. I'm hoping to see the white stripe sometime soon.

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