Ok fair warning…. I am being selfish and need to vent…………………
Please let me tell you up front. I love my Grandmother very much. I have always been close with all of my Grandparents. My Grandmother has always had the tendency to be over critical well perhaps that is not the correct term but anyway and more over protective where others of us are concerned. I fall into the first category. This is of nothing I have done. My father left us when I was 4. I cannot help that fact and truth be known some 3 plus decades later she needs to take that up with her son. When my Grandfather was living he kept those tendencies in check. He would not allow such behaviour where we Grandchildren were involved. He has been gone for some time. Please, also do not mistake it as I should excuse her for her age of 80+ years. I have worked with elderly for +++ years in a nursing capacity and yes as we age we do become looser in the tongue. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.. But………This is not age related. My Grandmother was this way at 50.
I shall turn back the clock to Good Friday, 2013. I went to visit my Grandmother. As I have said before she means well but at the end of the day there are different ways to approach a subject……… My son was born on April 27th and passed almost 3 weeks later. After Mother’s Day. So Easter, Mother’s Day, his birthday and the date of his death are all in close proximity. It is a very difficult time of year for me. When we were expecting we “announced” the news at my Grandmother’s dinner table on Christmas Eve. Family dinners are hard for us. I love children. I want more children. It is just so very hard to sit at dinner and see high chairs all around of my cousin’s children and have that empty space next to us. Our void. She asked me about coming to dinner on Easter Sunday. My husband was going to be working and well I just wanted to be at home. That is all I could handle at that point. I said no “Husband” is working and well I will not be out. The rest of the conversation went something like this.
“There is something wrong with you. You need to see a Doctor. You do not come out, you do not come to dinner.`
“Grammy, what do you think is wrong with me“
Are you all sitting down……………I warned you. I will summarize the conversation…..
My Grandmother said the following words to me “Other Mother`s get over it!“
My response.. “Other mothers get over what. My only child died. I do not get to get up on Sunday morning and play Easter Bunny and hide eggs. There is no going for pictures at the mall. Next week I am not celebrating his first birthday and in several weeks I will be going to light a candle on his grave in memory of his death. You name me one Mother who has gotten over the loss of their child. I do not care if they were 19 days old as mine was, 5 years or 20. Name me one mother you know that has gotten over losing a child. “ At this point I am still trying to maintain composure. But the above comment started me crying. Thank goodness my Aunt came when she did. I had to leave. I have never felt more judged or hurt in my life.
I do no expect people to understand my feelings or my life. At least out of respect for the memory of my son and that fact that I AM his mother respect my feelings and my grief. If I need to stay home because Our Home is the only place in our life that is safe. It is our protection. We can shut the door and only let in what we need and or want to. It is where we can speak freely of our wants, our feelings, our desires without judgement from the outside world. It is where his blue blanket from the NICU still is folded neatly under my pillow every night as I sleep and a Willow Tree Angel sits on my bedside table kneeling in prayer. It is where our family’s photo from our first, last and only Mother’s Day hangs on our wall.
Fast forward to March 6, 2014. My Grandmother is not feeling well and yes I am nervous and trying to figure out what may or may not be going on. She has had a couple of appointments. She sees another Doctor next week for more tests. I called this evening on my way home from work to check in and see what was up. So her BP was very elevated when at the hospital the other day. She is having problems with her leg and one foot. She has a bad back due to Osteoporosis and deteriorating discs. Her leg and foot have given out twice recently resulting in her falling. Not sure if this is the cause. But next week many tests begin and a referral to a specialist is pending. My father called 3 weeks ago to tell me this and to keep me apprised of what is going on.
I get home and hang up from speaking with her. As my husband and I are preparing to leave the house to run a couple of errands 10 minutes or so later the phone rings. It is my Grandmother. “Oh by the way. That is all a secret. Because your cousins do not need to know this and worry…….“ I responded. “Well they are all adults now and it is about time that the sheltering stops. “ Yea, no one bothered to worry about my level of stress and what I can and cannot handle. Not a problem.. She is strong she can take everything we dump on her. I might add about these cousins. One is 30+ and married with two children. One is 28 and has been living with her boyfriend for 5 years. One is 24 and soon will be celebrating her 1st anniversary with her husband who is in Med School. The fourth cousin is in his 4th year of university.
No, I do not think that we want anyone worrying until we know what are dealing with but………….They are not 5 year olds. Don`t we all deserve the respect of knowing the truth. No, now I am tasked with being one of the gate keepers in protecting their outlook and stress levels. Who the hell cares about mine or my husbands.
And this is the reason why we do not venture far and spend more time at home……………because that is one of the ways we can limit how much stress we let in. Damned if you do and damned if you don`t….
Phewww. Thank you for letting me vent and tantrum is over. TGIF!