Wednesday, May 14, 2014

where, and how, I am.

I am a planner, by nature. Life has a funny way of letting me know that I am not in charge of the plans.

This past Thursday, three weeks after the death of my grandpa, my grandma also passed away. Her health declined rapidly after my grandpa was gone, and, after almost no time, she was gone, too. 

C & I were supposed to be in Nashville this weekend, celebrating his birthday early with a trip to Music City. Instead, we spent Friday afternoon canceling our trip, and booking me on a flight to California to be with my mama. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm beyond disappointed to have missed a trip that we have been very much looking forward to, but will be eternally grateful to C for suggesting that we cancel the vacation and get me to my family as soon as possible. I had the thought in my head, but couldn't vocalize it. My sweet husband did and said what I couldn't, and made sure I was on a flight to my mama as soon as I could be. 

The trip out here was beyond ridiculous. Some day, I will tell you about how we moved hell and high water to get me from coast to coast, but so far, I can't really process it. It involves a lot of flight delays, four changed plane tickets, medical emergencies on the plane, and missing luggage. I forgot a few parts, I'm sure. But I spent Mother's Day with my mama, jet-lagged and wearing the same clothes I put on Saturday morning, and I wouldn't trade that for the world. 

We are figuring out how to handle this. "This" is something that we never accounted for - in all the imagined scenarios, losing two grandparents at once was never in the picture. This is unchartered territory, and it is painful and difficult and weird. We are coping. There are lists, and notes, and phone calls to be made. There are papers to be sorted, filed, and thrown away. There are accounts to be closed and friends to notify and two lives to just "wrap up." It's uncomfortable. It's all very confusing but also matter-of-fact. There are so many steps to be taken.

Through all this, I am seeing examples of just how much my grandparents loved their family. We're finding pictures, letters, and mementos. My grandparents kept everything, and my whole life is documented in their files. I found my preschool photo taped inside their address book, and letters written in the original word processing files thanking them for Christmas gifts. There was a photo from my high school prom in their box of important papers, tucked in with my sister's wedding invitation, and my college graduation announcement in another box. Every photo, every letter, every card was important. My heart is broken, but the memories and the timeline are so very much alive.

Unexpectedly, I have found myself with my extended family, on a trip I never imagined taking, spending the week doing whatever needs doing. There are moments where I am just a body, just a calming presence, and there are moments where I am a neutral force, spell checking my grandparents' obituaries, because we want them to be memorialized, but also insist that their memories be recorded with correct spelling and appropriate punctuation. There are important things, and less important. Who decides what takes precedence?

We are processing everything hour by hour. What more can we do? Forgive me when blogging doesn't take priority over everything else - I've reached one of those points where life happens, and there are just no words to get through it. 

8 comments :

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I'm so sorry for your losses. Your family must be very glad to have you there. Hugs!

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

I'm so sorry for all that you're having to go through right now. I'm here for anything that you, C or your family needs! I'm giving you a virtual hug from VA!

scrapperjen said...

My condolences to you and your family!

Jamie Danielle said...

So very sorry about your losses. Sometimes it takes husbands giving us that "little push" to get us where we need to be when it seems like we're pulled in 2 different directions. Sending lots of prayers your & your families way.

Lisa C said...

I'm sorry for this tough time in your life! At least your grandparents are together again.

The Lady Okie said...

So sorry you're having to go through this right now. And I'm sorry you missed your trip, even though I know you know you made the right decision. Hopefully things calm down for you soon!

blm said...

we lost my grandfather suddenly and unexpectedly back when i was in college and i remember the chaos well. sending lots of love to you all.

Tammy Jo said...

I am so sorry for your loss!!!!