Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's just emotions, taking me over...

My Grandma & Me
There are some days that being so far from 'home' is really tough.  The past WEEK has been like that for me.  We found out my Grandma has advanced lung cancer; even with treatment, they are saying she has about a year left.  She has already had surgery, and will begin treatment soon.  On top of that, my Mom went in for surgery and will be at home recovering for the next few weeks, unable to clean/lift/do-basic-things and could definitely benefit from having one of her daughters around.  What I wouldn't give to be in Indiana right now.

I'm one of those fortunate people who grew up having all four grandparents in my life.  While my nuclear family led a nomadic existence for a while, and those relationships with grandparents were often long-distance, I got to know and love each one of my them and couldn't imagine not having them around.  While the memories of my wedding day are now bittersweet post-divorce, I will never forget how happy and lucky I was to have all of them there for me.  Losing Grandpa almost two years ago was devastating, even though all of my grandparents have reached their 80s.  I was overwhelmed with grief, especially since I had not seen him in almost six months.  (Sadly, I see my Korean grandparents even less often; they are the sweetest people and I love them so much even though they are so far away.)

Mother's Day 2011 at Grandma's
There is a certain amount of guilt that I carry, being so far from home.  I even felt it when I was in Iraq, though I knew it wasn't my fault.  My grandparents have always supported me, and wanted me to live my life.  I never had to be in close proximity to them to know they loved me; my Grandpa was extremely proud that I was serving in the Army.  I even joined the American Legion in his honor, a place that was very special to him.  But regardless of their insistence that I live my life, wherever that may take me, I feel bad.  I feel bad that I'm so far away.

I am coming to the realization that we can't let hanging on to the past get in the way of living our lives.  We are going to lose the people we love; death is a part of life.  You never know who you will lose, because it's unpredictable that way.  Mothers lose children, even though it's heartbreaking.  I know that my grandparents, and parents, have all lived full and happy lives.  They are loved, and I know I am loved as well.  My favorite quote from one of my most beloved movies, Steel Magnolias, is when Shelby says, "I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special."  I've had twenty-six years of wonderful, thanks to these wonderful people in my life.  Loss is a fact of life, one that I am bitterly accepting but will never fully embrace.

On a lighter note, my French houseguest LD and her boyfriend MB were the sweetest and got me a couple of awesome parting gifts, a French-American cookbook and a Spanish Mediterranean cookbook (tapas!).  Last night LD cooked chicken with almonds, as well as green beans.  And guess what?  I ate a serving of green beans.  My Mom is probably shaking her head in disbelief over that statement! :)

Also, I think I've narrowed my DSLR search down to a Nikon D7000.  Now who wants to buy me one?  Sigh.


  1. ::hugs:: I know what you mean. My grandfather died last week (he was 90) and I couldn't make it out for the funeral, because I live so far away. I felt terrible. But then my friend Mike pointed out that I was doing exactly what my grandpa had told me to with my life, and in a way, the way I am living in a tribute to him. But I know it's still hard. Love to you and your fam.

  2. I know exactly what you mean. When my Grandpa was dying, I was able to talk to him even though he couldn't respond. I knew with all my heart that he was proud of me and wanted me to keep doing what I'm doing. He was an awesome man, and that's why I continue to make his memory a part of my life!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...