Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Potential Eruption

The day started oh-so-right.

I got up at 6:30, which in and of itself is a miracle, to have quiet time and then head to the grocery store before Craig went to work.

At 6:50, when I am almost finished with my quiet time, my eldest daughter comes and sits by me.  She picks up my phone and asks if she can play a game.  She ends up looking at the pictures, scrolling haphazardly through, one by one.  And then, out of the corner of my eye, I see her pause.  Her lower lip juts out and quivers just so slightly.  She lifts the phone to her lips and gives it a kiss.

I stare at the picture, now covered faintly by the kiss imprint, and see what she was looking at.

Grannie.  Bald but beautiful.  Broken but smiling.  Brittle but oh-so-strong.

The tear leaks from my eye and my daughter sees it.  I miss her, she says.  Me, too, baby.  Me, too.

I hear Hannah clunking down the stairs and we put away the phone.  We put away our stolen moment of reflection.  We put away our conversation so that we can move on with the day.  To add Hannah's emotional intensity over Grannie to the mix before 7am would be too much.

I hop into the car to go to the store.  I'm in and out quickly and on the way home, I feel fresh.  I feel ready to tackle the day.  The girls and I are moving on fine and then I start to feel, well, irritated.  For really, no good reason at all, except that just beneath the surface, I am a volcano ready to blow.  My red-hot magma is the overwhelming emotional burdens that I keep holding in because, really, who has time to deal with them?  Who has the energy?  I'm trying to prepare myself to go back to the place that holds so many memories for me and my children with my grandmother.  I'm trying to anticipate the needs of my daughters as they begin yet another step in their own grieving process.  I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that my other grandmother is in the hospital now, not recovering well from hip surgery, and who has, according to my mother, lost her will to live.  So, when my daughter comes in while I am trying to vent all these feelings on my blog and says, Mom, there is something that looks like cat throw-up under your bed, I have to use what seems like super-human strength to keep from sighing, rolling my eyes, and screaming I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH CAT THROW UP!  I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANYTHING!  Being that she is six and she is the child and I am the mom, I do not scream these words.  (Okay, I did maybe do the eye roll.)  God graciously gives me the strength to walk over, confirm the cat throw-up, sigh quietly, and walk back to my computer to finish venting.  (I know you are thinking, I can't believe she left the cat throw-up on the floor.  Well, desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess, so just believe it.) 

All of this planning and thinking and anticipating, though, doesn't seem to bring me release.  The sadness that sits in my heart doesn't come out as sadness.  It comes out as frustration, irritation, and fatigue.  I'm not really sure what to do with it, except keep looking to God and giving it to Him.
Upon reflection, I think that instead of going more inward, I will try to push myself outward -- to seek quality time with my kids and find joy in their laughter and quirks.  To continue to organize the family gathering and look ahead to new memories.  To lay in bed at night and let the grief come out in the form of what it really is -- genuine sadness.  I am realizing that to hide it away only makes it rear its head in much uglier forms.

Speaking of ugly, I guess it's time to get to that cat throw-up.  Oh, joy.


  1. I understand what you are saying. I am still trying to come to terms with the loss of my Mom. Since I live right down the road from my parents home, it is painful every time I go to see my Dad. I am not sure how Dad does it. I pray that things get a little easier for you. :)

  2. This post reminded me of an excellent book I once read entitled, "She's Gonna Blow" - Julie Anne Barnhill, I think! Anyway, she used the volcano analogy throughout the book - a very apt description when we deal with these "mounting problems"!

    I love in the end how you move to "push yourself outwards"... it's the kind of reaction that takes thought and purposeful action - that is a great goal for all moms "under pressure"! :)


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