May 25, 2011

Birth, death...arrivals, departures

     My grandmother is now beginning to refuse to eat.  I have bought every favorite food or drink that I can think of and even Ben and Jerry's ice cream will only get her to take a few tastes.  She is really balking at any liquids which is obviously the most important to her survival.  It forces me to accept that the end is near for her.  I really do think that it is time for her since I recognize that she is at the end stage of Alzheimers. I know that she will be happier where she is no longer ill and can be reunited with her daughter and my grandfather.  

     Having said that, I am sad and scared....for her, for my children, for my dad, and for myself.  I have not always had the greatest attitude towards death.  When I was in college, I signed up for and dropped the "Death and Dying " class about three times.  I never did end up taking it and I was a psych major!  I probably didn't think about it much for a long time after that.

     Then came the day that my beloved grandfather (on my mom's side) slipped on the steps and hit his head.  You may be able to tell by the picture above that my grandfather was my absolute hero and I thought...and still think...that he is the greatest person I have ever known.  He loved me unconditionally, he "roughed me up" which was what I called our rough and tumble play fighting, and when I was in his lap and laid my head on his chest I could smell doublemint gum mixed with aftershave and I felt loved and safe.  I wish I could sit with him right now.

     I remember holding his hand in the ICU and thinking that I had no idea what I would tell my children if he didn't make it.  It was the beginning of my road to seek religion and find out what I actually believed.  We spent the entire summer investigating and reading about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I felt led there by my many encounters throughout my life with amazing people and families that really "walked the walk" and lived by their beliefs.  I don't want to write about my conversion right now, although I love to talk about it.  I am grateful every day for the knowledge of Jesus Christ and eternal families.  I love that I know that we can see each other again. That knowledge really helps me accept death as a transition rather than an ending.
     This is my grandfather's old mower that still sits as a monument to him in our yard.  It doesn't work anymore but I will not get rid of it.  He loved lawn mowers and tinkering with them.  He always let me ride on this one with him and I would sit where he was missing a leg and I always felt like I could fit perfectly. I just kept looking at it today and thinking about life and loss and what is in store for us.

     I feel better equipped now to handle death but I still don't like it.  The transition is one thing...but the final moment is a different matter.  I still cannot face the funeral pictures from our daughter's death (another sweet angel that I love to talk about but will save for another time) And, so, I move forward day by day and hour by hour with my grandmother...

      I promised by the title of this post that I was going to talk about birth as well.  It is the twin's birthday this week!   I wholeheartedly wish we could spend it with them.  I saw the cutest outfits that were 40% off at the mall last week.  I just had to get them.  I actually do this with every child I have given birth to.  I buy a special outfit while I am pregnant and then I look at it off and on and I imagine what that little outfit will look like when it is filled with an actual miraculous little being.  I didn't get the opportunity to do that with Corinna and Maria because they came to me in a state of emergency with no prior awareness of their arrival.  I am glad that we do have the opportunity to do it this time.  It helps me to process the reality of the new little spirits that will be with us soon.  I took the picture outside on the play structure because I wanted to be able to picture them playing and happy inside those clothes.  I can't wait to take that picture!


  1. Ill say one thing and that is the twins will be very happy just like Im! They cant get any better mother than u and im glad they have the chance to be in our home to be happy and safe. Like i was. I love u mom very much:) i started to cry reading your blog. I would give any thing to be little and in your loveing arms.

  2. I found your blog through Kelly's Korner, I felt compelled to leave a comment to sau that you are an amazing person you hace seven children and still find the time to care for a very sick grandparent and not to mention opening your arms to twins, they are so lucky to be joining such an inspirational family. I am humbled by you.

    Good luck with your journey to your babies. I wish I had extra money to donate to you. I'll offer up a prayer which isn't much... but it's something...

    Love Louise


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