The Point at Which My Heart Broke

B and G

So, yeah. I don’t even know how to start. Last summer was, what I thought, the worst summer ever. I lost my grandmother and dealt with the grief that came from realizing how much her passing affected relationships with our extended family. Dealing with that grief was a long, slow climb to acceptance, with plenty of setbacks along the way. My sister and I vowed that this summer had to be better. We’d have fun, and wash away the last of those bitter memories.

And then my mom called. She hadn’t been feeling well and the doctor sent her to the hospital for some tests. She told me not to worry, to enjoy my weekend, and talked about taking the Heathens to a movie that next week. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there and that’s a long story for another day. Three weeks later, we lost her after an exhausting fight for hope and healing. She was only 57.

Grief like this is an acid that is constantly bubbling in the back of your throat. It robs you of common sense, good judgement, and makes you do and say a lot of things you regret. That’s why I don’t want to write about it just yet. I need time to let wisdom come out of the chaos. However, in the midst of the suffocating fog, there have been incredible family and friends who lifted us up and carried us through. That has helped me get barely back into perspective, and is holding me up as we try to move forward. Right now, every day is a battle to breathe, but I know I’ll learn something through this process.

What I realized so far is that I have been so busy working and keeping things going over the past year that I’ve stopped doing so many things that bring me joy. My camera has a layer of dust on it. My knitting bag sits abandoned. I’ve thrown together meals thoughtlessly when I love to cook. I can’t even tell you the last time I went to the gym or finished a book. I’ve just been plodding along, and if I look back over the past year, I feel like it just passed me by. Then, this tragedy changed my world overnight.

So, if there is one thing my mom taught me, it’s that if you don’t like the way things are going, get off your ass and do something about it. She was the hardest working person I knew, and her memory reminds me that my family deserves a mom who checks back into life and promotes joy in all things. One day, when I can write about this, I will. But for now, I’ll commit to making the effort to shake off this fog and live. If that wisdom and serenity part could just hurry up, I sure would appreciate it.

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