When Life Feels Heavy
Last night I got one of those calls. The ones where the phone rings in the evening when you know most people wouldn’t be calling. I had to run downstairs to get it because my phone was charging, and when I saw the caller ID for my parents my stomach sank. My parents don’t usually call me, I call them because of the cost. When they do call I know it’s important. When they call in the late evening it’s not just to chat. When I called back and got my mom on the line I knew my instincts were right. She was crying and had to tell me that my Granny had passed away yesterday morning.
Moment’s like this hit hard. I’m once again reminded that living here and doing this life that we’re doing comes with it’s own losses. I’ve lost track of how many birthdays I’ve missed. Big ones, like milestones where I would dearly love to celebrate with family. Major anniversaries. Holidays. Changing of seasons. And yes, tragic times. Last year I was so thankful that we were finally able to attend one of the family reunions that happens every few years. It was the first since Chris and I had been married, and I soaked it up like a sponge.
That was the last time I saw my Granny, and last night I was so thankful for those few days with our extended family. Granny was so happy as she watched her kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and nephews and nieces and their families all enjoy each others company. She would light up whenever she saw someone for the first time and had time to enjoy visiting with all of us. We celebrated her 90th birthday and she was in good humor as she always was at birthdays, and had no issue with wearing her birthday hat.
I’m glad that we have those memories and the pictures from the morning that we left. I’m glad my kids had a chance to get to know her and that they remember her and my Grandad. That’s a huge gift to me that I know many don’t get. My grandparents had 6 kids, 16 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren – if I counted right. My Grandad passed away about a year and a half ago, so he didn’t meet all the great grands, but Granny knew them all. If that isn’t a legacy, I don’t know what is.
Granny with 9 of her 16 grandkids last summer. Not all were there, and some just didn’t make it in the picture.
While I’m trying to process some of this the heaviness of Haiti is there too. One of our employees was in a motorcycle accident back in April, and he just came back to work on Monday. We were all so excited. But, he wasn’t back to 100%, and yesterday as he was working his legs went out from under him. Chris took him to the hospital, and now it seems that he had a stroke. His right arm and leg are paralyzed and he needs therapy. And answers. When we went to visit him this morning the information, or lack of it, was maddening. As his wife was relaying what they’d been told, Chris and I just kept looking at each other. There is so little access to good, informative care here. Most often people are given vague descriptions of what maladies they have, a list of meds to take and no preventative education.
Sometimes life is just heavy and hard. I feel worn out today and ready to just sleep. I think I might call it a night early and just take care of my heart and get some rest.