Thursday, January 10, 2013

Struggling to still be Thankful

Finding it hard to find the good on this Thankful Thursday like I promised. On the way home from the wake last night for my friend's father, my own father called me. My grandfather was not doing well. Having just picked up the boys from my sister in law, they heard everything I said. And listened to me cry.

There was no getting around it. At home I sat the boys down and we had a talk about how Opa would soon be going to Heaven. The twins were really sad, but it was the Big Guy who fell apart. He was begging me to do something to help him stay here longer. It broke my heart that he cried himself to sleep. I barely slept last night. I kept waiting for him to wake back up and need me.

My dad called me first thing this morning to let me know that my grandfather had passed last night. I broke it to the boys as they got up one by one. My cousin called me and we had a long talk. Then it was back to getting the boys out the door to take the Big Guy to school. I almost didn't send him ... given how upset he had been the night before ... but I hoped it would take his mind off things being with his friends. I was thrilled to hear from his teacher that it did.

Today happened to be my day to volunteer in Kindergarten. I was putting packets together for the teacher as I hear the Doodle Bop loudly tell some friends that his Opa died.  In the moment it took me to turn around the Bunny Bee had chimed in and it felt like the entire class was listening. I was mouthing I'm sorry! to their teacher and trying to tell the boys we could talk about it at home. Their teacher was wonderful. She let them talk about it a little and handed me a children's book she happened to have in class to take home for the boys to read. I was so grateful. We have Dog Heaven at home (which is a big favorite), but nothing about someone passing away - and this being a book about a grandparent was just what they needed.

Just as I was starting to feel relaxed, I heard the Doodle Bop tell another friend that they were making his Opa ashes and putting him into little boxes called urns. Not exactly what I'd said. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. I distracted him with something and that was that.

After school we came home and read the book together. The boys had me pull up some photos. This one is their favorite. The thing about this photo right here... I don't know how to feel about it. It is the last photo I have of the boys and my grandparents together.


Labor Day weekend. My grandfather seemed totally fine and yet before they left the house I had this nagging feeling I still can not explain. I actually had the thought that I needed a photo because I would never get another one. Which shocked me even then. Of course there will be more photos I told myself. I took the photo, hugged my grandparents and wondered why I even had that thought.

A week or two later my phone rang while I was at the Big Guy's soccer practice. My grandfather had a major heart attack. And you know the rest. He fought for months ... until last night when it was all just too much. The boys did not get to see him again and this is the last photo of them. I still can't completely wrap my head around that one.

This may not be the Thankful Thursday post I had in mind, but there are things I am thankful for today. I am thankful that I had my grandfather for 35 years. Even if he hated that I loved Kurt Cobain back when I was 16 (and totally let me have it in no uncertain terms). I am thankful that he supported me, told me he was proud of my writing and got to know my kids. I am thankful that my boys got to have a Great Grandfather that they loved and are old enough to remember always. And lastly I am thankful that he is now at peace ... even if it isn't how I wanted things to turn out.

It is going to be so hard to say goodbye.



17 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss Liza. He sounds like a wonderful man and I'm sure he would appreciate you being thankful for his love and support. What a blessing that your boys got to know him. Love and hugs to you and your family during this difficult time.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I worry about my grandparents and feel like I can never talk to them or photograph them as much as I'd like to. Thank you for sharing. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family. Sending big hugs!

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  3. I'm so sorry Liza. It's so hard to explain to the little ones. Deacon talks about my grandmother all of the time. I, like you, are blessed they got to know each other. Xo

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  4. i'm so sorry for your loss. it's never easy to lose a grandparent but i truly believe they never really leave us. they are forever with us, in our hearts, memories, and souls. thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

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  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I know the feeling you're talking about. You can't explain it, but you know. That is a great picture.

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  6. I have tears in my eyes Liza. Im so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you said all the right things to your boys. I'm here if you need anything. xo

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  7. I'm so sorry for your loss. You're so strong and your boys are lucky to have such wonderful memories. I wish you and your family much peace and love during this time.

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  8. Liza I'm so sorry for your loss. I am so glad you have that picture though - it's a wonderful memory. and you are a wonderful mom to those boys, helping guide them through a very tough time for all of you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  9. Oh, Liza. I have tears in my eyes after reading this. My heart is with you all during this time and I know that you and your boys will carry his beautiful memories with you forever. I'm so glad you have this photo and I know the boys will be able to eventually process it all. Hug them tight and know that I love you!

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  10. Oh, Liza, your love for your grandfather is so evident in this post. I'm so sorry for your loss. How fortunate your boys are to have had their Opa in their lives. I'm sure they'll remember him forever with happy memories, just as you will. Much love to you.

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  11. I'm very sorry for your loss. Best to your entire family.

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  12. Liza, I am so sorry for your loss. That photo is just beautiful. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. ((hugs))

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  13. I am sorry for your loss.
    It's great that even in this hard time you find the things you are thankful for.

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