Grief in the Midst

A friend recently posted on Facebook about the passing of a loved one, that 'grief is a strange beast'. That line has resonated with me since I read it, and I can't seem to get it out of my head. My Gram, I've mentioned her several times in my writing, has been sick again. Under the circumstances, she's doing well, but I find myself grieving even while she is still with us, in the midst of moments I cherish.

Now, at 66 pounds, she is only 10 pounds heavier than Timothy, her oldest great grandson who at 7, is 83 years younger than she is. She is tiny, but still mighty. Her mind is strong, she is still doing for herself in most situations, but she is slowing, and my goodness, it makes me sad. Knowing full well it's the natural order of things, and knowing, when we asked her to move here with us six years ago, that this time would come, it is still hard.

Gram has always been the first on my list to call when I needed just about anything. After ball games in college that she couldn't make it to, she'd call to see how I played and how many hits I got, then she would congratulate or encourage, which ever I needed. I remember calling her from Korea for cooking advice. Sometimes, if food wasn't being scorched at that very moment, she'd ask if I could call back because she was busy watching the Braves play ball! She's mended hearts and buttons and woo-woo's galore, hemmed dresses, baked goodies, kissed boo's, read stories, cuddled babies...  If one of us cries, the other does as well. It's as if our tears are connected to each other. Right before I started having tests run for my heart, she would call and, after a few minutes, she'd say, "Something's wrong, I can hear it." It's always been that way for both of us. I know in just a few words if she's feeling bad. I love that we know each other that well. I love that my Gram has always been my 'go to' as long as I remember needing someone. And I love that now I'm hers.

I love that she is just downstairs so I can tell her goodnight, every night, like I did when I was little. I love that she knows when it's been 'one of those days' and she pats my hand and tells me I'm doing just fine and tomorrow is a new day. When she says she's proud of me and the mom I am, it makes me cry. Every time.

I have no idea how long she will be with us. That's the difficult side of this, but then again, who really wants to know the hour? I just hope we are able to keep laughing together in the midst of it all. My Gram has a great laugh. In fact, just this morning, since she's been sick lately, I've been asking about her poop, just like I check on my kids when they are sick. (Those of you who know me best are NOT surprised by this!!) But this morning, as I went down to check on her, she gave us a good laugh when, knowing what I was going to ask, she asked me first, "How's your poop today?" We both fell out! And I know this is good, because that's my Gram. Quick witted, funny, sassy to the core.

This grief, I know it's not the same as the grief I will feel when her time comes. But, it's a heavy feeling to know that it will come. I will enjoy every moment I have with her, as I always have. Her house will be flooded with the kids, as it always is. We will smile, and laugh, and share, and our hearts will be full.

Grief, it is a strange beast. I would never wish the hurt away....there is way to much love and happiness attached to it.