So yes, our holiday schedule was crazy busy -- just like all of yours with children. Then, my Grandmother passed away late the night after Christmas Day. She was 98 years old so I have to admit that she had lived a full life and we knew it was coming but it doesn't make it any easier. My 6-year-old daughter didn't find it easy either.
The last Monday before the holiday break, I picked up Little K from her Girl Scout meeting that followed a day of school. She asked if the time had come & I carefully told her "not yet but any time." Grandmother's home is just 6 houses down the street from ours so we drive by literally every day & Little K's Great Grandmother has been an important part of her life. Little K said she cried to a teacher that day. Oh no!, I thought. So, while driving home, I told Little K that when we got home, we could talk more about it.
When we arrived home, we both cautiously proceeded to the family room as if instructed to do so. I sat down on the sofa & Little K curled up in my lap. "Do you want to talk about Grandmother?" I asked her.
She nodded. "Mommy, it's just not fair," she started. "You see, Grandmother is very old and I am very young so I just didn't get enough time with her." At that, she burst into tears and clung to my neck. I was floored that this little one had so much emotion bottled up inside. I just sat there, fighting my own tears and rubbed her back. A solid 10 minutes later, she stopped, dried her eyes and told me that she just had to get it out. I reassured her that she could talk to me any time about anything. She drifted off to her own room.
Exactly one week later, Grandmother passed away and we buried her on 12/29/2011. I worried how Little K would respond during the funeral but she wanted to go &, unfortunately, it wasn't her first funeral. She had several cousins there to keep her preoccupied and she didn't really seem bothered by too much of it. My mother & I both gave eulogies and while that was really tough, I felt it was important to share with people what a remarkable woman she was. Fiesty & loving all at the same time. After a day full of funeral activities -- all escorted by my family & noteably my supportive mother-in-law (yes, she's a gem!), we returned to our home in central home. My husband & I changed out of our all black attire into something more comfortable when suddenly we looked at each other bewildered.
What was that? Little K was downstairs by herself crying. Trent ushered her upstairs, where she crawled in our big bed & I just held her.. & cried too. It's so hard to tell what goes on in those little heads but surrounding them hugs & kisses, plus letting them know that they can talk to you is all I know to do. I think it's the right thing to do. Finally, she dried her eyes again & found a toy play with.
While Grandmother had actually lived in a nearby assisted living facility for about three years, she still owned her home and said when she got stronger, she'd move back. It happened to be the house where my dad was born, where he & his older sister played for years, & where my sister, my two cousins & I also played for years. My parents moved a couple of times while I was growing up so I have absolutely no attachment to any home that I grew up in. But, I'm attached to that one house down the street from me. Time heals all wounds & I do believe that. But a special place in my heart holds onto the memories that I have of my Grandmother. The extra special memories often include my daughter & her Great Grandmother interacting. We'll all move on but I'll hold onto those precious memories.
And in the New Year, I'll again be committed to spending time with my family. I've been reminded how important those little moments are & how I want to make the most of them.
Until the next nap time...