Saturday, March 03, 2007

Well, I'm back...

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on here and I’m not sure why. I mean, I always ALWAYS have something to say, but for the past couple of weeks, I just hadn’t really wanted to say anything.

I’m not sure if it’s connected to the fact that the last time I posted on here was right before my grandma passed. I was sitting in her dining room, checking email on the computer that was nearby. As usual, everyone was there: my mom, dad, aunts, uncle, sister and some of my first cousins who had driven up from South Louisiana that weekend to visit.

This had been my daily life pretty much for the past couple of months, especially in those final weeks before her death.
But fortunately, it wasn’t time that was spent being sad or depressed. No, grandma was always a happy person, so we all chose to stay upbeat, optimistic and keep things, well, happy.

I mean, grandma’s house has always been the center of joy, fun and laughter for our family. Even after grandpa died six years earlier, it was so very hard, but we still managed to gather there and eventually laugh and smile again. So why change it up now, when she needed our positive energy the most, I thought.

I wouldn’t know until after her death just how bad things really were. That was my grandma. Didn’t want the grandchildren to be depressed and distracted from their lives and careers so she made her children promise not to tell us what was really going on.

And, not knowing, I remained hopeful.

And part of remaining hopeful is resuming life as usual, right? Tuesdays and Sundays were always the staple gathering days, but as things got more serious, my mom and aunts and uncle became 24-hour caretakers and my sister and I wanted to be there as often as we could to help out and share those moments with her. Lunch breaks, after work, late nights, it didn’t matter to me. I was going to be there.

I wouldn’t have had it any other way for the woman who kept us during all those summers while my parents worked; the woman who always snuck my sister and I shopping money behind grandpa’s back “Shh, don’t tell your grandpa,” she’d always say with a sneaky smile; the woman who demonstrated to me what it meant to be strong and brave, yet elegant and graceful; the woman who always said “Boys and books don’t mix!” a mantra that she first passed down to my mom as a child and then onto my sister and I; the woman who, unlike some older people who tend to have antiquated ideals, never pressed me about being career-driven instead of married with kids. “Enjoy being single and doing what you want to do. Spend that money on yourself. You’ll have plenty of time for marriage and kids later;” the woman who, through her and my grandpa’s marriage, along with my own parents, showed me the meaning of true love and devotion at an early age.

No, I was going to be right there for her. And I’m thankful that I spent that time with her, told her how much I loved her and got to hear the words that every grandchild wants to hear: “I’m so proud of you.” I’m even more grateful that it wasn’t the first time she’d said that to me.

Death is the one part of life that’s a given. Even in the three weeks since my grandma’s death, I know of at least four or five other friends, colleagues, former co-workers and church members who’ve suffered equally if not greater loss.
And there’s something that happens when you watch a loved one die. I don’t know, maybe it depends on how you handle things. For me, among many other things, the experience made me more silent, contemplative, introspective, at least for the time being.
And maybe that’s why I could never bring myself to “talk” on here because nothing else seemed even remotely important to me as that moment.

But another given is that life goes on. And as always, I still have things to say. And since that’s what this blog is all about anyway I guess that can only mean one thing: I’m baaaack. I guess I just had to get a few things off of my chest first.


JaneDoughnut said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Donecia. I think most of us know that life does indeed go on, but that doesn't mean it's not hard. Thanks for sharing your joy and grief with us.

Donecia Pea said...

Thanks so much janedougnut, not only for your sympathy but for your kind words.
I worried so much about sounding like a wet blanket with that post that I almost didn't post it at all, but I just really needed to get that off of my chest. Thanks for appreciating that.