Reflections

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Sometimes insanity provides a necessary relief.

Angeline returned home from a month long stay at an out of state summer camp Friday evening. We immediately brought her to my parents house, where my mother and I ushered her into my parent’s bedroom to break the news about my grandmother passing away last week.

She was heartbroken, of course. Friday night we brought my niece and cousin home with us to keep Angeline company – when children play, they easily forget what is troubling them. My niece spent the night and her cousin returned early Saturday morning. They jumped in our new pool. They played feircely. We had a welcome home party for Angeline yesterday, and all of our immediately family attended. I also invited two of her cousins from her father’s side of her family who live nearby. The party lasted about 5 hours, and everyone had a wonderful time.

Later in the day, as people began to leave, my mother and I ended up outside alone talking about my grandmother. It was the first time either of us were able to sit and have a conversation about grandma without one or both of us breaking down. I think it was a small stepping stone on the path to healing.

My daughter’s cousins are still here, they spent the night last night. Today we are all going to make it a real movie day – we are going to see two movies back to back at our local theater! My aunt had the fabulous idea to take the girls to the movies to keep them cheery and to keep us all occupied. What started as us and the three girls has morphed into an 11 person movie party! I think it will be great fun. We are going to see Eclipse (No, I am not a Twilight fan, but I have heard its a good movie regardless of the Twilight mania that surrounds it) and immediately afterwards, we will see Despicable Me. Should prove to be a good day.

I find that with each day’s passing, the pain is a little more tolerable. I know that there are stages to grief but I have not looked into them…I think I am in the acceptance phase. I have accepted that she is gone. I am celebrating her life. I am thinking of the memories we had together.

I am blessed to be a part of a very large and very close knit family. I have blogged before about how I live within walking distance to my immediate family. I grew up literally across the street from my grandmother. My mother used to babysit Angeline and take her to school in the mornings for most of her 5  years in elementary school. Because my grandmother spent so much time at my  mother’s, my daughter was able to spend a great deal of time with my grandmother. My grandmother babysat my cousins, who live across the street from me. Because Angeline played with her cousin so much, she was around my grandmother there too. She saw her at least twice a week, although it was usually much, much more than that.

I have been thinking about the relationships I have with these close family members. I also have family in North Carolina, and I rarely see them. My father’s parents have always been an incredible part of my life – holidays, summers, birthdays, etc. I love them dearly as well. But my daughter has grown up only seeing them once or twice a year. She doesn’t have the same relationship with those great-grandparents as she did with my grandma Judy. They are getting older. They are not in the best of health. It breaks my heart that when they pass, she will not know the great loss of them that she is feeling now.

Is that a good thing? Is it a bad thing? I am not sure. Not having a close relationship obviously makes it easier to mourn the loss of a family member. But it also means that when they are gone, you do not have a lifetime of memories to keep their stories alive…

I think I am going to take this opportunity to foster a closer relationship between my daughter and her other great grandparents. She has my mother’s father still alive and both of my father’s parents. I want her to spend more time with them, to get to know them, to hear their crazy stories and feel their love.

I want her to appreciate what she is missing once they are gone. Because, honestly, they are some of the most interesting, sweetest, loving people I have ever known, and I can’t imagine Angeline not growing up knowing that.

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