Framing Moments

“I’m going no matter what!”

Two nights of no sleep has made me even more determined to live life, so I shower, fuss with my hair, and even put on makeup. Clothes are not comfortable right now, so I choose a skirt made from cotton t-shirt material and dress it up with a blouse, and some stand-out jewelry. I haven’t looked so good in years.

“I’m taking my camera, and I want you to get some pictures of me for a change.” Usually I hate having my picture taken, but today I am feeling vengeful (against disease).

On our way we pass a horse farm where new colts are staying close to their mothers’ sides. Ric pulls over so I can get some pictures. Later, I’ll delight my mother with the images. She loves horses, and tells me stories from the farm.

After a visit with Mom, we continue on to meet with some of our kids and grandkids. My daughter has ordered Thai food, my favourite, and they even have gluten-free dessert for me.

Armed with bundles of Mother’s Day flowers, I return home, heart bursting, and lots of joyful moments to carry through this in-between time.

***

Our focus this week was ‘in-between‘ and as always the contributions were inspiring, thoughtful, and creative. Thanks to all!

Seems WP is not letting me add individual links, so I’ll refer you back to the original post (linked above – fingers crossed). Apart from the guest links, there are also many warm thoughts in the comments worth reading.

See you tomorrow for a new challenge.

Come Play, Gamma

faces“It feels like my heart and my thumb changed places,” five-year-old Sloane says carefully guarding her injured digit.

I can’t help but laugh.  She can be a little dramatic, this one.

“Can you get us a tissue?” I ask her older cousin.

“I don’t need it!  It stopped bleeding.”

The blood has bubbled up on the end of her thumb where she scraped the skin off.

“Just in case,” I respond.

Finn tries to squeeze in on the other side, so I shimmy over, and the three of us snuggle on the couch.  On the coffee table in front of us sits a present.

“You can open it Grandma,”  Finn offers.  “It’s for you.”

“I’ll wait till everyone is else is here. I am their Mom, you know.”

“It’s because of you that we are here,” Finn says, and then remembers my mom.  “Actually it’s Great-Grandma.”

“Right.  What if my mom didn’t have me?”

“Then we wouldn’t be here!” Finn’s eyes are wide.

“That’s something to think about, isn’t it?”

“It sure is!” says Sloane.  “That’s weird.”

MomnbabeTwo-year-old August appears and immediately starts to unwrap the present.

“No!” We all chorus, laughing at the baby’s antics.

She climbs onto the couch beside her sister and pretends to sleep, snoring noisily.   We join in the game.

Being a grandmother is the best.  Removed from the constant deadlines, worries, and obligations of parenting, I am free to just soak in each precious moment.

Dinner is ready and we file outside, into the sunlight, and find a seat at the table. Adult hands join in to fill up plates and I go off to find drinks for the girls.  It’s a beautiful day, and the first BBQ of the season.

Still eating her hamburg, August slides down off her chair and reaches for my hand.

“Come play, Gamma.”

There’s a gravel path beside the deck, with odd shaped patio stones laid randomly offering a walkway.  The older girls are hopping from stone to stone trying to avoid the gravel.  August, still holding onto my hand, is walking along the second step which wraps around the deck.

“Careful,” she says in a sing-song voice.  “Careful, August.”

fullonFinnWe play till I am so tired, I need to rest, and I say my good-byes and go in search of Grumpa, who has disappeared.  He is asleep on the couch in the family room.  I seek out the couch in the living room and put my feet up.

Finn follows me in.

“What are you doing, Grandma?”

“Having a rest.”

She plops down next to me and leans in.  Sloane appears and sits on the large lazy boy across the room.

“Play with me Finn?”

Auggie shows up and wants up too.  The lazy boy spins on its base and the girls giggle and squeal.  The rest of the family pours in.  It is time for everyone to go home.  Grumpa is still sleeping.  I wake him up so that we can leave my son and his wife to their peace.  It has been a full day.

“Thanks again for having us,” I hug them; “and enjoy the quiet.”

I put the seat back down and close my eyes on the way home.  Processing the events of the day, I smile.

I am feeling very blessed.

Emotional Backlash (Or Happy F*@#king Mother’s Day)

This post is hard to write, however; I have no where else to vent, and need desperately to process what has happened.

IMG_1641Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and inadvertently my two daughters and I had booked a mani-pedi for that date, the original intention being one last pampering for my middle daughter before she goes into labour with her second child.  The Saturday before I had asked all the kids to come home and help set up the backyard for summer (we’d had the pool opened on Wednesday).

After dinner on Saturday, as my adult children were leaving, they mentioned that I might take a cab and meet them at the spa the next morning.  I agreed, exhausted as I was, and ready to have my quiet house back.

When I woke up the next morning I began to rethink the situation.  Taking a cab to the spa was going to add an additional $50 to the bill.  Also, would I need my wheelchair or my walker?  The venue was unknown to me and I felt that always just-under-the-surface panic starting to rise.

Shouldn’t I be spending the money and energy visiting my husband in the hospital, I began to reason.  I’d already spent $100 on dinner the night before, and the issue of money is fast becoming a problem, given my husband’s current state of health.

“Are you still okay with taking a cab?” my eldest asked when she called.

“Will I need a walker or a wheelchair?”

“Maybe a wheelchair.”

“And sit there waiting for you to find me?  I’m thinking I won’t go.”

“What?  You were okay with it last night!  Mom, are you crying?”

“I’ll call you back.”  My emotions were now bubbling up, brewing up a concoction of instability.  It’s only a twelve-minute drive, after all I’ve done for them, is it too much to ask?

“I’m coming to get you!” She called me back.

“I’m around the corner, be outside waiting,” was her next call.

th-1As she tossed my walker in the backseat, I knew she was angry.  By the time I lowered myself into her front seat and closed the door she started.

“You were okay with it last night?  I was having a nice morning, enjoying my tea while the kids played and you had to ruin it.  It’s Mother’s Day and I couldn’t even enjoy my morning tea!”

“I won’t go,” I said reaching for the door.
She stepped on the gas, thrusting her arm across me.  “No, we’re going!”

An onslaught of bile drenched me for the rest of the journey.  Some of it registered;  some was lost.

Then silence.

We stopped to pick up her sister, and drove to the venue.  I just wanted to run (but, of course, I haven’t been able to do that for some time.)  I contemplated getting a cab then. th-2

I stayed for the manicure instead and then left.  I was emotionally and physically drained, and could no longer fight back the tears.  I cried softly in the back of the cab as the driver plied me with questions about how my children were celebrating me this Mother’s Day.

Later I texted my pregnant daughter:  Are you upset me with me also?

th-3She agreed that she was, but disagreed with her elder sister’s tactics.  I really just miss my strong, intellectual, free-spirited, happy and independent mom, she concluded.

So do I, I concurred. So do I!

There is so much loss when disability strikes.

We need to find a better way to talk about our frustrations with one another, I texted my eldest.

You always go to a defensive place, Mom, there’s no talking to you about anything… I feel like you guilted me into picking you up…..you need to figure out ways to be independent, we can’t always be there for you…

What do you suggest?

A Home…like Grandma’s in.  You should be looking into it.

Bam!  Just like that.  We’re done you with you Mom.  We have our own families now.  Find your own way.

Sad thing is, I remember having had the same thoughts about my own mother, felt rage as her lack of independence, swore never to do that to my own children.

History repeats itself, it’s the role we play that shifts.

I am so heavy-hearted today that I don’t know how to move from here.  I take inventory in my head of all the things we’ve done to help our kids, but it’s meaningless in the face of such disregard.

Have I raised a selfish, entitled daughter, or have I not protected her enough from life’s abuses that she is too wounded to be compassionate?

My children have been strength, my purpose, my joy.  Where do we turn, as parents, when they reject us?