Archive for October, 2015

Loss, Grief, Gain

In the crazy, upside-down-ness of my life right now, I have been trying to process some things. It’s probably not the best time to process, since I can’t seem to get any distance in order to look at things objectively, but life keeps going on and that means that I process as is. Which means I am turning inside-out. Taking the very marrow of my bones and calling it my whole life right now.

It’s hard to lose a grandma that I wasn’t ready to lose. My grandma’s sister told me at the funeral that my grandma had told her a few weeks prior to her death about how we had moved to California. How she knew she would probably never see me again because of it. Every time I think about that, I cry.

There’s a lot of loss in moving; even when you are excited about the move. I not only lost certain things that just won’t fit in our new house, I lost my ten-year old, beloved coffee maker that just didn’t survive the move. That coffee maker was given to me by a friend that lived with us years ago. She used to make sugar cookies with my little girls and clean my clock in every single game she played with me. And now, she lives a half a country away with her own beautiful little family that she makes sugar cookies with and will eventually teach them how to play the games that she is so good at, I am sure. I am so happy for her and her new life, and yet I’ve lost that old life and it will never come again. I’ve lost one of my best friends who moved with her family to another country, a half a world away and her kids have gone on growing and I don’t know them though I love them like my own. I’ve lost my doctor, my dentist, my grocery store, my pharmacy. I’ve lost my best friend from high school that has lived within walking distance of my house for the bulk of the last 30 years. I haven’t lost her friendship, but I’ve lost meeting in the middle at a moment’s phone call and taking a quick walk around the neighborhood while we catch up, which means I’ve lost her friendship as I have always known it. I’ve lost watching the news every morning while I drink my coffee because I now start work at 6am and there is just no time for news and we don’t have tv anymore anyway. I’ve not only lost one daughter who got married and is physically gone, but I’ve lost all those little girls I once had. I’ve lost the knowledge of what exactly to do and how exactly to be a mom as the issues have turned so incredibly complicated. I love them all so much and I have not lost the love, but there is definitely a loss in our children growing up that every mother feels.

And now I’ve lost my grandma that I naively thought I would have for another ten years. The hole feels bigger than I think it’s supposed to feel. I’ve lost the games of Scrabble, the late night talks about the days when she was first married to my grandpa, the undying love and support she always had for her family. She was so incredibly proud of us. So incredibly proud of me. It’s a big loss and I’m feeling it.

I’ve lost what WAS, is what this really is. And I don’t yet know what WILL BE and so I’m here in the grieving time. This grieving time is what IS right now for me. I know that being in a new place and having so much unfamiliar right now is feeding this grief. I know that. I really just wanted that familiar part of my life to hang on a little longer.

I do love my new house and I love my new friends and I love the weather here and I love my grown-up children who talk about things that matter and sometimes give unexpected but much desired hugs and kisses and call me out of the blue from a half a country away to tell me they love me and make me laugh my head off with joy when they are just simply being them. And I love the life that has been passed down to me from my grandma. I love what I have while I grieve what I’ve lost and that sometimes feels bigger than I know how to handle. I heard a friend say tonight that there really is no love without grief. That’s sinking deep into my marrow tonight. I know I want the love and that means I must figure out how to live with the grief.

In my search for the familiar lately, I have discovered that the same sun rises every morning and the same moon rises every evening. And both of those events happen facing the same direction off my front porch, which is helpful to me these days. I try to catch these familiar events every day and it helps. It really helps.

The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected – Robert Frost

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Too Tired For Pictures

Two months ago, we moved to California. In those two months, I…

…worked. At my JOB job. Every single day except for the week that we took to drive out here. From 6am-3pm every single day doing nothing except trying to keep with up with my insane job, remotely and without an office, or even a desk…

…looked at about twenty houses with about 400 other people, put deposits down and tried to rent three of them and got beat out by one of those 400 other people…

…finally found a house that I love maybe more than any house I have ever lived in and this time we beat out all those other 400 people. Yay! They even took our cat and he has his own kitty door! And we’re within walking distance of Grace’s school…

…moved in on a Wednesday because that was the only day that worked with the moving truck driver’s schedule and were amazed at all the people that showed up to help on a weekday during the hottest time in I think the last 400 years on the central coast of California. What made it even more fun was the fact that, for reasons still not clear to me, the moving truck had to park with it’s opening at the bottom of the super steep hill we live on and we all got to carry boxes, furniture, piano, yes piano, UP the super steep hill and into our house where it was 96 degrees inside (oh yeah, I didn’t work at my JOB job that day, I guess)…

…tried desperately to fit our huge couch into our new tiny living room, to no avail. Tried desperately to find lamps to turn on so that we could find boxes that maybe had clothes in them that we had not had in two months. Tried desperately to do a load of laundry of said clothes to no avail because our dryer had an old-fangled pluggie-innie-thing and the outlet on the wall wouldn’t accept it. While Chris was out trying to find a hardware store to do some new-fangled jerry-rig to to the pluggie-innie-thing, I found a lamp but in the turning on of said lamp, I plugged it into an extension cord that had been damaged by something heavy sitting on it in the moving truck and the exposed wires burn two black spots in the flesh of my thumb and middle finger. Oh, and shot a flame in the air. And made an electrical buzzing noise while it hurled me backwards. It hurt. And smelled. Like burning flesh…

… got up at 3:30 the next morning to fly to Illinois for the unexpected funeral of my dear Grandma Ruth (I didn’t work the JOB job that day either, I guess)…

…flew directly to Dallas after an emotionally packed, but really special time with family in Illinois, met my dear husband who had already been there for class for three days, and then went and worked at the JOB job in the actual office where I used to work for three days…

…picked up my children at the airport when they flew in for Chris’ ordination, attended the ordination, went out to a really late dinner with a lot of really wonderful people after the ordination…

…flew back to our still un-put-together home in California and started trying to address the fact that we are now in about half the square footage we used to be in and we have just got to start over in some departments. Like the couch department. Let’s start with that one. I listed the huge, brown, sectional couch on Craigslist and sold it that same day. I loved that couch. I might have cried a little. Went out and bought a new, much smaller, but still beautiful couch, as well as a few new chairs…

…took the car into the shop after it backed out of the driveway on the steep hill we live on and scraped the front (which pretty much happens every time we back out) which ended up violently ripping the entire bumper and other stuff off the front of the car…

…attempted to sing the soprano descant during the communion hymn during Chris’ first baptism at our new, wonderful parish. Most likely will not be attempting that again anytime soon…

…comforted and cooked and cleaned and and put pictures on walls and found new doctors and made appointments and attended appointments with my sick children and just basically mommed…

…got a desk! a beautiful desk! handmade especially for me by the most amazing and loving people ever! I can’t even tell you how nice it is to have the place where I am sitting for 8-9 hours every day be so functional AND beautiful. My job job suddenly doesn’t seem like the first one needs to be capitalized anymore….

…took the cat down the street to the emergency animal hospital when an abscess burst on his back hip, causing him an immense amount of pain and growling and hissing, and a slightly smaller immense amount of blood to ooze out all over my new white chair…

…am really, really, really tired. I was going to add pictures and stuff but I think I can’t. I have to start that Jj thing tomorrow at 6am after all, so I’ll save the pictures for another time. Suffice it to say, that the sunsets and the beach and the fresh milk and eggs, and the church potlucks and the ocean breeze that’s always blowing and the beach and did I mention the sunsets??? Well, suffice it to say that it pretty much all balances out over time…

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