When I was running one day last week, thinking, praying, pounding the pavement away, while trying not to cry too much, I kept thinking of my Grandma. She was the main parent/caregiver of my cousin Dustin. His mom died when he was not quite 2. Too young to really remember her. (oh, that thought squeezes my heart so much). My Grandma stepped in and took on raising him & his older sister, my cousin Trista.
I was really reflecting on Grandma & all that she has been through. What an amazing woman she is!! Granted I can't remember everything, but I do have the gift of memory. But I don't remember her ever crying too much or very often. I'm sure she has. How could she not?
To give a general over view of how much my Grandma has endured: she buried an infant twin daughter. I know what it's like to "lose" a twin. My John was a twin, but one that was lost at such an early gestation, that he didn't fully develop & was "absorbed" by John. That was rough on me, still is sometimes. But to give birth & have to bury it, I can't imagine the heartache. Then her husband died. Grandma was left to raise 5 girls under the age of 10. Every bit of me grieves not knowing my Grandpa. It's just not fair that I didn't get to know him!! Grandma has also endured the death of 3 of her sisters, her parents, another daughter & 3 of her grandsons. One of them was my brother, who died when I was only 3. I literally don't remember one ounce of any of that. Maybe a good thing. I don't know. Even more of me grieves not knowing my brother. My only brother. Double not fair!! Anyway, that is 10 deaths of immediate family that Grandma has had to say good-bye too. Wow, I can barely stand the few in my life that I've had. Of course, it's fair to say I'm just a grieving big cry baby. Some people shoulder this type of thing better. I do not. I don't want to know or think about what will happen when someone really close to me dies. I grieve those I never knew or even remember. I try to elude such thoughts cause I just make myself a blubbering mess.
For several months, I have been wanting to write a letter to my Grandma. I'd tell her, but she likely won't hear everything I say. So writing it out would work the best. I want to tell her how much I love her & how amazing I think she is. It's a little hard, because I am a very emotional, touchy feely person. I strongly believe in talking about your emotions and thoughts and feelings. But I was not raised to do this. So it can be hard for me. It's awkward, not to mention I will be a crying wreck in the process. However, with the semi recent deaths of her 2 sisters I am realizing more and more that Grandma may be soon or next. She is well into her 80's and has lived a long full life. It's only natural that her time may come sooner or later.
The situation with my Grandma is also different because of events that transpired when my Aunt died. When Grandma became caregiver to my cousins it changed her role in all of our lives. She was their "mom". They were her main priority. I understand this subject on several levels because a similar situation has happened with my own parents and my own kids are going through the same thing I went through. I will admit, I can be a littler bitter about the whole situation. It makes everything so different, because while Grandma was so busy raising 2 of her grand kids, her role of grandma to us was given less attention. I don't blame her (or anyone involved) or think she did any of it on purpose. It's just how it was. I still love her and think she is amazing.
So I need to get this letter written. During my runs I think on what I need to tell her. Although that usually leaves me crying (just like I've cried through out this post) so I can only think on it so much. With anything that has happened recently I can only handle small doses. I work & try really hard to carry on with life & not think about the impending funeral & family gathering for Dustin. That, people, will break me. So I try to laugh as much as I can. I try to "forget" and live life to it's fullest. It's a day to day, moment by moment task. I guess that is what the call LIFE.