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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Celebrating Lives

This week as we celebrate my son's 3rd birthday, we too celebrate the life of my grandmother who passed away peacefully this weekend.

My son's birthday is today and my grandmother will be laid to rest later this week.

In my heart, I know that two celebrations are in order; one of life and one of a life long-lived, but my heart can't quite grasp the concept of two celebrations and is trying really hard to open up to even just one.

Sunday, after I drove home from spending my last moments with my grandmother, I, with my heart so heavy and my eyes cried out, went straight to bed.

I woke up the next morning hearing tiny voices in the next room; the laughing, the giggling, the occasional, "HEY! That's MINE!" and it comforted me like a warm fleece blanket and all I wanted to do was bask in my boys and I did.

They make time pass with their giggles and their smiles and they take the sting out even for just a little while until the pain and realization comes back again. When my heart feels empty, they fill it right back up.

My little now-3-year old who knows what's happened but doesn't really know what's happened, only really knows that it's been a three-day birthday celebration for him; one with friends and two with family and he obliviously and continuously sings "Happy Birthday" to himself while he plays excitedly with the police helicopter and the monster trucks he's received.

When people tell me my grandmother lived such a long and full life, I agree and take comfort in it but right now only just a little. Because I think that the very fact that she spent 95 years here also makes it harder for me to let her go, for all of us to let her go. Because they were 95 INVINCIBLE years. Years of iron and unwavering strength. How do you say goodbye to that when you honestly never thought you would?

But the celebrations of life are what life is about. The tears and the joy and the grief and the happiness, they're all related to each other in some way in that it makes us alive and all of these feelings tell us so.

So through the tears, I'll celebrate and through the sadness I'll smile and through the emptiness I will sing because though there's been loss we've gained so much through example, through pure saturated and unadulterated love, through birth and through death and that's what makes life rich with, well, life.

Today I celebrate you, Grandma, and hope that I might draw some of your unwavering strength throughout my life to get through the ebbs as well as the flows.

And today I celebrate you, baby, and all the ways you've healed me in all of your 3 years by bringing countless waves of happiness to me.

Happy Birthday, naked cowboy.
Well you weren't really naked. Until of course you were.
And that's exactly why I love you.


Brooke said...

losing a grandparents is difficult, especially when they were that wonderful. try to hold on to the things that make you smile about her. both memories and possessions.

i can't help but smile when i get a compliment on an old piece of Avon jewelry that belonged to my Mamaw Pace. She'd love knowing that her taste is still appreciated...all these years later. She died a decade ago, but I still can't help but cry thinking about her. That's the mark of a truly special person.

You'll feel this loss for years to come and know that you're blessed to feel it. Because you had such a wonderful woman in your life for so long.

Happy birthday to your little man too. I'm sure lots of hugs are in order for the both of you.

Kirsten said...

((hugs)) The circle of life is brutal. But those memories you have of her can be passed down to your boys who will talk about her and remember her in their own way.

AnnG said...

Happy birthday to your little man! He's adorable! Sorry to hear about your grandma....hugs!!

Martha said...

Awwww, HillC, what a great post. Let your boys take care of you these days -- it will help you heal. Be good to yourself, as I'm sure you are. I'm sending you all my love from the West Coast.

Dani said...

I am so sorry for your loss. No words can ever help mend how someone is feeling during such a time. My family has experienced that feeling three times in the last year and half. My grandfather died in August of 09, then my grandmother in December of 09, and then my Aunt just recently in October 2010. I too had to be strong though all of this because as you know I also have a little one.... it's funny how in all the hurt you can still find joy from young life. I thank god every day for giving me my son! Hang in there. And happy birthday do your little man.

Bacardi Mama said...

It's the true circle of life. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It's so hard to lose someone we love. Happy Birthday to your little man. He'll keep you engaged in life. ((HUGS))

~Mendie~ said...

Oh Christie, I am so sorry to hear about your grandmothers passing. It is so hard to say goodbye, I am so glad that you got to see her before she left this earth.

Hugs dear friend.

eonyc said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. My Grampa died when I was 29, and it still felt way too soon. I'm glad you got as long on this earth with her as you did, but it's never, ever enough time. Hugs from NYC...

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