Thursday, May 6, 2010

On time and healing

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me."

It seems like yesterday that I was in St. Louis for a national fundraising conference for the American Cancer Society.  I was six months pregnant, facilitating a workgroup, and got the call that Grandpa had been taken to the emergency room.  Within a few hours, I had rented a car and was driving north to Des Moines.

That was October 2008.  I spent several extra days in the midwest, helping out with Grandma and Grandpa and being present for things that we normally aren't able to be a part of since we live 2000 miles away.  Grandma and I had a number of talks about what life would be like after Grandpa passed.  She had a great deal of fear mixed with sadness.

Grandpa rallied back and lived another 15 months.

In December 2009, my mom flew back to say goodbye and spend one last special weekend with her mom and dad, sister and brother.  All together for the last time, this side of heaven.

While she was gone, she developed pneumonia, which eventually uncovered an autoimmune disease that landed her in the hospital for several weeks.  When Grandpa passed away, Mom was unable to fly due to her oxygen requirements.  Thomas, Dad and I flew back for the funeral.  I had the chance to speak on behalf of Mom at the funeral.  The night that Grandpa obviously knew that we all needed a laugh, as the crematorium where he was scheduled to be cremated actually caught fire the night his body was moved there

And several months later, now that Mom has been fully taken off oxygen (since Tuesday!), she was cleared to fly home to Iowa to bury her dad.

Which brings us to this weekend. 

A simple ceremony with the family, burying Grandpa in the plot reserved for him and Grandma. 

I am so proud of how well Grandma's done since his death.  She has been taking baby steps back 'into the world'.  Going out with friends for lunch, being active.  I can't imagine what it's like to wake up each morning without your spouse of nearly 65 years, but she keeps going. 

Change is not easy.  It requires stepping out of your comfort zone.  Sometimes small steps, sometimes big.  The fear of the unknown and moving toward something different. 

Each of us worries about how she is doing on her own, how she is adapting, and what the best path is for her.  Staying at home or moving somewhere different (as her mom and aunts did). 

She's definitely still got a bit of her fire...when she was worried about the weather for this weekend, I told her that it wasn't worth worrying about since we couldn't change it. 

She looked at me and said, "Well, at least I can still bitch about it!"

And I love her for that. 

Praying for her as we get closer to the weekend and look ahead to what's next. 

We love you, Grandma.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love that quote at the top of your post. So much so that I just tweeted it. Its beautiful and oh so true.

I will be praying for your family and your sweet mom and Grandma this weekend. I pray for traveling mercies for all of you, in thankfulness for your mom's graduation from the oxygen mask, and for a peace that surpasses all.

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