Sunday, March 01, 2009

Caution: Tears Ahead

I'm sorry for my lack of posts lately, but honestly, I just haven't really felt like posting much.

The truth is, I started blogging toward the end of my pregnancy because Rob's mom went crazy. Seriously! I remember the day. I got a random phone call from her and she was in tears speaking utter non-sense. It all boiled down to the fact that she was too far away to get to see Titus's birth and she had been in the room for the births of all her other grandkids. She suddenly communicated to me what she'd been feeling for quite some time I'm sure... she didn't like that we lived so far away.

It was one thing when it was just Rob and I, but a whole other thing when we brought kids into the picture. At that point she was getting sicker and already making her "bucket-list". I assume she had a good inclination that she was on borrowed time. I didn't know what was going on in her mind and heart but I knew after that phone call that I had to do something to make sure she was a big part of our kid's lives even though we were 4 hours apart.

So I blogged. Often. With lots of pictures and stories so that Mee Maw could be a part of our world. She was my target audience. I wrote stories in detail with her in mind. I'd see the kids do something during the day and think to myself, "Oh, I gotta blog this, Janice would love to hear about this one!" It was the least I could do to keep her in our world.

She thanked my often for blogging.

Even as she was in the hospital these last couple of months Carmin would print off my posts and take them to her to read the stories and look at the pictures. My latest post was on a t.v. tray near her bed on the day she died. I was hoping she'd get to see Titus looking all handsome in his glasses!

If I'd known time was so short I would have blogged everyday. I would have done a lot of things differently. I would have called more, visited more, had the kids send her drawings and pictures.

I would have written about her more in the last couple of months so she'd know how much we cared about her. I knew in my heart we'd probably never see her again when we said good-bye in January... but I didn't want to take pictures and tell stories because honestly, that isn't how I want to remember her. She was getting more and more sick everyday. I just wanted so badly to believe that she'd get her transplant and get better. I didn't want to deal with the reality of time being so short.

Oh, how I wish I had just one more day. I didn't want to tell her all of the things I now wish I did because I wanted her to hold onto hope. Instead of telling her all of the things you tell someone when you know they're going to die, I hung pictures of our trip to Disneyland in her room telling her to keep fighting and keep getting better so she could go on our next trip with us.

I know you can't dwell in the past when the reality is what it is... I can't change anything that I did or didn't do and even if I could it wouldn't matter because she's gone... and frankly, I'm sure she doesn't care. Oh what a wonderful place heaven must be!

You have no idea how many things in our house her fingerprints are on. In this room alone there is a lamp on the desk shaped like a purse that she gave to Leeann. There's a Cherished Teddy that she gave me the a few months after Rob and I started dating. His name is Robert and he's a little teddy bear with overalls sitting with a ducky in a pail of water. The bottom of the figurine says "Love keeps us afloat." There's an IKEA bag. We loved shopping at IKEA together. There are John Deere sheets on the bed. We have 2 sets (she is the founder and main contributor of our tractor collections!) There's a doll blanket she made Leeann, some gifts she'd stored up for our kids in her "grandma closet" that we took with us after her death. There's a tote full of stuff that she made--blankets and burpies galore (oh, I LOVED her burpies... they were my favorite! Some day I'm going to start making burpies because I think they're the coolest baby gift in the whole world!). There are several pair of shoes that I got since we had the same sized feet.

Don't get me started... this is all just in our spare room! It's amazing the things that have made me think of her lately. Even spare change almost brings me to tears. She loved stuffing Leeann's pockets full of coins for her piggy bank! Titus has a room FULL of John Deere, and Leeann has princesses everywhere. Those were Mee Maw things. Shoes... she loved to buy Leeann shoes! Honestly, sometimes it drove me nuts that she would give our kids so much stuff. What I wouldn't do for her to give our kids more stuff now!

I was so blind. It was hard for me that she tried so hard to be 'the favorite'. Being in church leadership it seems like everyone wants our kids to love them so they give them candy and toys and other random things. So we tried to be protective of our kids lest they become spoiled at every turn. Some of this certainly spilled over into our conversations with her, asking her not to give them certain things, or to ask us before offered them something. Sometimes I truly felt like she was just doing certain things so that she could be the favorite one. On her bucket list (things she wanted to before she kicked the bucket) she wrote that she wanted to live until she was 60. 60. If she'd lived until she was 60 Titus would only have been 6, and Leeann 8. I don't blame her for wanting to be our kids' favorite. She wanted them to remember her. I honestly didn't think she'd die when our kids were so young. If they remember her it will only by vaguely. I wish I would have let her spoil them more!

I'm so sad for my kids, that they won't have her in their lives. By nature of life my parents have collectively seen my kids on 3 or 4 separate occasions in the last two years. I loved that Janice was an active grandma to our kids. My grandparents were an active part of my life growing up... every kid needs that! Sometimes grandparents do things that parents can't do. Or are too practical (or poor!) to do... like buy Leeann pretty fake red roses at JoAnn's so she could give them to her mommy. They're still by my bed. Or buy her shoes that are funky and entirely impractical. We have many. Or buy her a ridiculously expensive signature book at Disneyland with princesses on the front. I refused to waste money on something so ridiculous, so it was the first thing she bought once we entered the gates and Disneyland and it was the best investment of our whole trip! I'm so glad she went behind my back and bought the book anyway!

Our trip to Disneyland meant the world to us, and we couldn't have done it without her (and Carmin of course). She paid for 1/2 the hotel, we drove her car and she paid for gas. There's no way we could have taken that trip without her! Taking her grandkids to Disneyland was on her bucket list too. Shelly found her bucket list the other day. She had a picture of us in front of the Walt Disney/Mickey statue stapled next to the page that had her wish to go to Disneyland with her grandkids on it. What a divine appointment it was that allowed us to take that trip when we did. I wouldn't trade a picture I took, a moment of video we recorded or a dollar that we spent for anything in this world!

Who's going to buy Titus more tractors, or make a matching outfit for Leeann and her doll? Who's going to make blankets for her babies and stuff her pockets full of money? Who's going to come down and stay with us and love on our kids for days on end... and bring a bag full of grandma-goodies? I see how she's loved on and spoiled Shelly's kids over the years and I'm sad that our kids won't have that! Who's going to hem my pants, make me more apron's and teach my all her cool sewing tricks? Who's going to 'drag' me to IKEA just for fun and take me to the huge Jo-Ann's sales in the wee early hours after Christmas? Who's going to search for the perfect material and load me up sewing paraphernalia? Who's going to slip us a couple hundred dollar bills when she can read through the lines and see that times are tough? How she knew we had over-drawn our bank account before we went up there a couple of years ago is something only a mother would know.

It's not fair that she's not here! She was only 57. My kids are too young to lose her. I'm too young to lose her. I MISS HER! My heart aches. I still don't want to believe that she's gone. How can she be gone?


Char said...

((Hugs)) to you! Words are so inadequate, but I'm so sorry. Your post makes me realize how we take things so for granted and how we need to cherish every day with our loved ones.

Kelli said...

:( Made ME cry. One part that got me was how you wish you'd let her spoil your kids more. I can so relate. We've been sticklers on that but when I see it from your perspective maybe I won't be such a party pooper. :) That post was sweet and heartfelt. Hang in there. She obviously was loved well by your family. I'm sure that gave her so much joy. Sorry for you loss.

alexanders said...

robyn, so sorry for your loss!! but, your post reminded me to share with my loved ones all the things i appreciate about them regularly. i am going to call my parents tonight. i just said a prayer for you! many blessings to you!

WebServant said...

Wow, Robyn thanks for expressing in words how much Janice meant to you and your family. Like you say (so eloquently) how important "active" grandparents are to the lives of their grand kids. I have fond memories of my grandparents.

It's so ironic that Janice was only 57. I just celebrated my 57th birthday. It makes me want to revise my 'bucket list'. That would be to finish my last 'letter from dad'.

Thanks for sharing. Your post was very inspiring and motivating.