Tuesday, September 19, 2006


We've had a bit of a seasonal weather change here in the great Pacific Northwest (rainy and gray in the morning--well more just wet and drizzly than rainy--and warm and sunny in the afternoon, typical of fall weather here) and it has my butt draggin' on the ground. Seriously. I just want to curl up in my bed and nap all day long. Now if this wasn't the week of my Grandma's funeral, and if I wasn't the only family member who lives in this area, this wouldn't be so much of a problem. I'd just stay in my sweats and my favorite ratty sweater (which would be the first thing to go if I ever got on "What Not to Wear." Unless they keep it and make it the supreme example of What Not to EVER Wear, but I digress--and I love it anyway--!) and I'd go w/the flow. Let myself adjust to the change of seasons gradually. Nap a little, play w/youngest DS a bunch, just go with the draggin' and not beat myself up about it.

Except the funeral is Saturday, and my mother is coming to town and I want things to be nice when she is here. Better than our every day nice. So I can't go w/the flow.

I read a lot of FlyLady emails. I'm on the daily email list, even though I really only follow about half of what she says 'cause that's all I feel like I can handle right now. I'm really taking to heart her "you can do anything for fifteen minutes" mantra. I am forcing myself to clean and scrub all of the little messy corners of my life. You know, the ones your Swiffer leaves behind and most of the time you don't really care. I have given myself quite a list of things to do before Thursday evening.

So what am I doing here then? I'm on my fifteen minute break. And I feel like talking a bit. That's one of the things I've realized. When someone close to you dies, you suddenly feel the need to tell all the stories you can about them. To make them real to people who never knew them. Like the time I was living in my Grandma's basement and we got a LOT of nasty spiders moving in with me into my basement sanctuary. They REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY freaked me out, and would often startle me into a blood curdling scream. My Grandma figured out what this scream meant rather quickly, and would shuffle her way to the basement stairs and make her arthritically painful way down the stairs to kill the spider for me. Because I was frozen with fear. Literally. This was just one of the small ways my Grandma loved and served me. I paid her back by vacuuming the living room carpet in perfect vacuum cleaner lines and by walking around the perimeter of the room for the rest of the week so's not to disturb the aforementioned perfect vacuum cleaner lines. I felt it was the least I could do to repay her for her awesome spider killing abilities and for not deriding me for my spider phobia. We were good for each other.

Well, my time's up. Now on to another housecleaning job before I take C to preschool.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Time Passages

My Grandma passed away this morning.

First of all, don't be sad. This is a good thing. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll know she had advanced dementia. She's been going for a long time. I'm fine.

In fact, I'd almost say I'm better than fine. We got the word on Saturday that she was beginning her journey home. I was able to spend about three hours with her. I called people important to her to come and say "good-bye." I held her hand. I called my Dad (her son) and held the phone to his ear so he could also say "good-bye." She'd called me "Sweetie" several times before that, and a bit after I hung up the phone, she grabbed my hand, pulled me close and said "I love you." I don't know if she was talking to me or my Dad or both of us, but it was still nice to hear. That was pretty much the last thing she said before she slipped into the space you go just before you die. I sang hymns to her for about an hour and a half. I also went back Sunday night to hold her hand and sing to her some more. I was there yesterday as well. It really felt like yesterday that her body was holding on to her spirit, and her spirit was nearly gone. Everytime she'd stop breathing I would tell her to "go home."

All in all, this has been a really choice experience. Although I don't blog about it here, I am a deeply religious person. This has been a very spiritual experience for me. I have loved this opportunity to serve my Grandma on this level. She has served me nearly all my life--until she couldn't physically and mentally serve me any longer. Many of the things I count as blessings in my life today are because of her. I firmly believe there is a level of love and charity you don't get to learn until you are in a position like this. I have truly enjoyed it.

I'm sure I'll have more to say later. This will probably consume me for a little bit. Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Will you Still Love Me...When I'm 64?

It has occurred to me over and over recently that one day I will be old.

Why this hasn't occurred to me before, I don't know. I mean, I knew I would "grow up" and stuff, but I hadn't realized the actual realities of growing old. It used to be that I would read that you didn't need to worry about mammograms until you are over 35. "No Problem!" I thought, "Doesn't apply to me!" Well now it does.

Gray hairs? Other people had them, not me. Well, since I chose to stop coloring my hair when I became pregnant with my third child more so that I could remember what my natural hair color was than from a fear of birth defects, I have discovered that I too, have gray hairs. Or in my case, silver white platinum hairs that are curly where the rest of my hair is straight. I've also found out that you can have silver eyebrow hairs as well.

I used to see little old ladies doing their shopping (and really, they probably weren't THAT old, most likely in their late 50's) and think to myself "What a sweet looking grandma!" I now realize that sooner than I am ready for, I will BE that sweet looking grandma! Because I don't see my parents regularly, it surprises me to see the changes in them as well. I think of the Bonnie Raitt song "Nick of Time" where it talks about the child/parent relationship and seeing those physical changes as we grow up and it suddenly makes a lot of sense to me. I am going to be old someday, and that day is a lot closer than it used to be.

I saw a Crankshaft comic strip this summer that sums up my feelings well (and I wish I had a copy of it!): Crankshaft was talking with his daughter at the high school graduation party for his grandson. His daughter was talking about how she never thought that day would come. Crankshaft responded that he knew that his children and grandchildren would grow up, he just didn't think it would happen so quickly. I knew that I would grow up and be older; I just didn't realized how quickly it would come.

So what's the lesson here? For me, it's to start taking care of myself physically NOW so that I can enjoy my life when I'm old. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, drink enough water, exercise, blah, blah, blah and yadda yadda yadda. All of those platitudes make a lot more sense now that I'm on the road to old.

And that's the other side

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Maybe I'll have more time to blog when school starts on Tuesday.....