Thursday, October 12, 2006

Coming Soon

I could write now. The A's, Cory Lidle, AJ's latest shenanigans, me, The Drizzle and on_thg cashing in a HORSE tourney last night (with brdweb missing the money by three spots). There has been no shortage of interesting material lately. But I'm in a black hole, one of those moods where I question myself, my attitude, my actions. On top of that, there is a Real Life Situation that has me feeling both helpless and inadequate.

My grandmother is dying. Has, in fact, lost the will to live. The stroke she suffered in March has left her a shell of herself and though she survived, has resisted rehab in recent weeks. My mother told me to make sure I call her frequently, because The End will come soon. A self-sufficient woman her whole life, she doesn't want to live depending on others to walk, to eat. I can understand that.

This whole thing has made me think about something that happened earlier this year. In the immediate aftermath of X's confession of betrayal, I experienced a panic attack. It wasn't my first, but it was intense, with massive anxiety, chest pain, shortness of breath. I went to the patio of our house, afraid and needing fresh air. I stood there watching, listening, trying to find calm in the sounds of the night. When it hit me that I didn't care if I died. At that moment, with the pain I was feeling, I was content to let go, to give up.

Funny thing, the very act of surrender cancelled the attack. Why panic over something if you welcome it?

My grandma wants to die, wants to surrender, give herself over to the celestial afterlife which she firmly believes exists. Who among us is selfish enough to resist that wish, to force her to stay?

Yet, I don't want her to go. From 2000 miles away, I feel her. I hear her voice echoing in my head. I see her joy and tears when we surprised her in January by flying in for her and Grandpa's 65th wedding anniversary. Sixty-five years. That says everything you need to know about my Grandma. Nothing is more paramount to her than family. She has spent her life as the sun around which the rest of us orbit, the spiritual and emotional head.

So, we're left with nothing but a morbid countdown. This strong woman, who has endured a husband off at war, the premature death of one of her daughters, has made her final decision. I've spend several days trying to figure out what to do, sorting out my feelings and grief.

One thing I can do is to honor her memory with my behavior. It's hard, you know, because I've already failed my family. I preside over nothing but the tattered remains of the unit I once headed. Insufficiently. My attempts at compensating for that failure have come up woefully short lately (which is a post for another time).

But I suppose the best thing would be to make sure she knows how much we all love her, how much we all needed her and how much we've learned from her example. I've laughed at her across the generations, rolled my eyes at our different ethics, but I am not so different. I have her blood coursing through my veins. I have her lessons etched in my DNA. I have her eldest daughter, my mother, repeating her words for as long as I remember. We are products of our past, better and worse, glorious and despairing, and all we can do is exalt in the times we've had, be thankful to have possessed her as long as we have and never forget her strength and radiance.

If you want to go Grandma, it's okay with me. If it's okay with you, I'm going to keep as much of you as I can.

16 Comments:

At 4:47 AM, Blogger Huge Junk said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. I'll spare any Tigers v. A's talk and just say that if I were you I'd send her this post, or at least the last part of it.

After typing that and rereading the last part of your post again, I'd definitely send her the last 3 paragraphs.

 
At 5:00 AM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Losing a grandmother is never easy. Mine passed away to cancer four years ago.

I have to agree with Mr. Junk. She needs to see this post.

 
At 5:17 AM, Blogger Daddy said...

Give her a hug.
Tell her you love her.
Tell everyone you love them.

Honor her.

Be.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger peacecorn said...

I'm so sorry.

 
At 10:29 AM, Blogger Fuel55 said...

She would be soooo proud to read this. Dont miss the opportunity.

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Speaker, what can I say, I haven't gotten over the loss of my grandmother. Make sure you call her and tell her all the things that you love about her...her smell, her food and her smile. They are things that I wish I could have one more time, but I can't those things are gone...they only live in my mind as strong as ever.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Randy G said...

Sorry to hear about this situation. Definately let her know how you feel...you'll regret not doing it later. As for being a failure in the eyes of your family that is totally false. Don't let the mistakes of others bring you down. Just thinking like that, even if it is in jest, does no good for your mental and spiritual health. Stay as positive as possible through these hard times and rely on all the faith you can.

 
At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would send her Big Junk's Spice Girls essay.

 
At 12:05 PM, Anonymous jxma said...

Very poignant post. Coming from someone who just lost a father in a similar a few months ago, and has lived 10,000 miles away for the past 8+ years, I can identify with your thoughts and feelings.

I wish I could express myself in words the way you just expressed yourself. You encapsulated pretty much everything I felt when my father decided he'd had enough.

 
At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

My son, you touched my heart and I sit here amid tears in wonder at the way you express yourself. You make me proud. If my Mother can just hang on til I get there, I will read this post to her.

 
At 1:21 AM, Blogger Veneno said...

It seems you have been blessed to be part of an amazing family. I'm sure she will appreciate knowing how she touched your life.

My sympathies are with you.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Donkeypuncher said...

All the best to your family, Speaker.

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

My condolenses. Best wishes and vibes go out to you and your family.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

My grandma has been hanging on for awhile herself and is fiercely independent as well.

Your writing once again should be passed on to those it speaks of, make sure you send it to her.

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger katitude said...

Mr. Speaker, once again you leave me speechless...

I'm with the others...share and say what you can to her.

::hugs::

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Karol said...

I'm nowhere near over the loss of my paternal grandmother 2 years ago. Selfish though it may be, hold on to her as long as you can.

 

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