Thursday, January 10, 2013

Talk About Emotional Roller Coaster

My grandpa passed away last week and Monday was his funeral. He was 93 and would have been 94 in the spring and summer would have been their 75th wedding anniversary. Talk about a legacy!

I wasn't super close to him. When I was little they were off camping and traveling so I didn't see them a whole lot, and then we moved up to Michigan and again, didn't see them on a regular basis. He used to call me Sadie Bell Hawkins. Yeah, I looked that up and I'm not sure what he was trying to say. The story goes she was so stinking fugly that no guy would come a courting so she went and got herself a man.

I'm not sure, but there should be some sort of emotional scarring there, but I have yet to identify it.

Or maybe he thought I was a go-getter and was going to get stuff done. Which I find that hard to believe as I take procrastination to a whole new level. Then again, I was looking at a lot of their pictures of me at various stages and I was a goofy looking kid. My mother cut my hair......and I think I should just leave it at that. And now I feel guilty that I cut the guys' hair, but they all ask to keep it short so I just use clippers. How hard is that to mess up?

But girl's hair? That is something totally different. And there was a bad summer where I tried using sun-in after a perm - worse case of fried hair. So there were a few pictures of me stuffed with too much fluff, braces, fried hair and 80s outfits. Brought me right back to that emotional scarring.


But the funeral wasn't super sad. He hadn't been feeling very well for the last year and the last few months he went down hill fast so honestly, it's a relief knowing he's not suffering anymore. It was a bit strange as it seemed like a normal family get-together with grandpa sleeping....only he wasn't sleeping. I told my dad I kept waiting for him to snore or gasp for air. It was weird.

I immediately noticed which hand was on top. He had lost his pointer finger as a young man which kept him out of WWII. Every grand kid got poked with that sucker if they were misbehaving, so to see old stumpy on top put a smile on my face. Michael, noticing my smile, said, "Well, now he's reunited with his finger so I'm sure he's happy about that". That got a good laugh out of us. 

The hard part was seeing my grandma. They were always a team and now the team is no more and I find that so sad. I've noticed that Fred and I seem to be more aware of each other since the funeral. I think we needed that reminder. The last couple years have been hard and so full of uncertainties that it's shaken us both, so much so that we've both had a hard time staying connected to each other. While we're working on it, it's still a good reminder that this is a team effort and it takes both to be present in the relationship instead of just retreating and/or hiding. And one person of this equation was doing all the emotional work and she, I mean me that person was tired of it.

Nothing like sitting there at a funeral getting a nice dose of perspective.

Grandma can't live by herself as she's legally blind. Downside is she doesn't want to leave her home and the last few days have been some epic battles. She is out in the country everyone has to go out of their way to come get her and run her all over the place. Trouble with that is that all her children are in various stages of not being able to do it.

I get her reasons - she said she'll mourn her house and I nodded my head that I understand that very well. But because of her vision being so poor, she'll have to learn a new layout and that scares her. She's feisty and if she can see beyond the grief of losing and change, I bet she'll go on for a few more years.

There are no easy answers and we're all praying for her to have wisdom, peace, and courage to do what needs to be done. And to do it quickly because I have a feeling she's going to drag her feet causing the whole thing to build. She even said she's going to be a royal pain in the butt about the whole thing. She wasn't joking and for her to own it this early in the game is not a good sign. I'm just glad I'm not the one that has to deal with it.

I can't help but think of my own parents and I have moments where I just shutter. Their latest is they ticked someone off again and got smacked with a lien and their already limited funds are even more limited. I think I'm taking the ostrich approach with them - shove my head in the sand and pretend they aren't there. So far, this is working rather nicely.

And I always seem to get these brief moments of perspective and brilliance as I turn another year older - which what is up with that? But that all the times I spend worrying about the next thing really doesn't matter in the scheme of life. I freak out about so much stuff and wonder how it's all going to work out that I waste so much energy I'm surprised I'm not worn out. It comes together, it works itself out, crap happens and you move on. My life does not make sense at all and I am so hoping that God is going to do something huge to make it all come together. I'm even hoping He'll say, "I love it when a plan comes together" because all I see are fragments of stuff.

A new year, a new age with new challenges. I hope it's a good year, I hope I win my battles, I hope I have the strength to carry on, but mostly I hope I put a smile on God's face as He says, atta girl!
Also hope He doesn't call me Sadie Bell Hawkins either. Just saying.


Julie said...

So that's why they call them the Sadie Hawkins dance... Interesting.

Sorry to hear about your grandfather. It's hard to lose family. :(

Hope your birthday was a good one!

Joanna said...

Thanks Julie!