Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sometimes it's really hard

Yesterday was a really hard day for me! I cried a lot. I found out my sister in law was in labor and I was going to have a new niece or nephew which made me really happy, but I also found out that my grandma was taken to the hospital and she isn't doing very well. We spent the afternoon decorating for Christmas which brings me lot's of joy, but it also makes me really sad and I miss my mom terribly! I had a hard time balancing all of those emotions, so I cried and laughed and screamed in excitement and cried some more.

I love my grandma so very much. She has been the grandparent most plugged into my life, the one I stayed with while my parents went on vacation, the one who cooked with me, the one who painted my nails and took me for walks, and tried to convince me to name my baby dolls Matilda. She collected beanie babies and had Garfield underwear for me when I visited. She let me play with her perfume bottles, always had coloring books and crayons and still to this day watches a small black and white TV. I've watched her get older, more frail and start using a walker. She fell a couple of years ago and has been nervous about walking ever since. She fell again last week and has been in so much pain that she stopped eating, stopped taking care of herself. Today she is in the hospital, and she will probably be okay, probably go back to her little house in Norwalk, but she lives alone (her choice) and she seems to be falling apart at a rapid pace. And I live 3,000 miles away and it makes me ache with sadness. Being so far away from my family is really, really hard sometimes.

My house smells like pine. The Christmas tree is up and has all of our lovely ornaments adorning it. We have a few bulbs, a few generic ornaments, but almost everything on our tree has significance. Ornaments from when I was a little girl, ones I made, but also ones that were given to me by special people in my life. I have a beautiful cut crystal bulb that my mom's good friend gave me when I was was always one of my most prized ornaments. We have a tradition of getting the girls an ornament every Christmas, and Dan and I get each other one too. I mark the backs with the year and every time we get them out we take a stroll down memory lane....the very first glass candy ornament that Dan got me while we were dating, the ornament from our first Christmas together after our wedding, the little ceramic booties from Maddie's first Christmas and the beautiful silver spoon from Charlotte's. Growing up it was always me and mom decorating the Christmas tree. We'd put on carols and dig through our huge box of ornaments reminiscing about years past. There was always a story that went with the ornaments. Yesterday while we were decorating our tree I had Christmas music on, and Maddie was helping me hang ornaments on the lower branches. The song Silent Night came on and as I was singing along, I looked over and there was my first born hanging a sparkly snowflake and singing Silent Night as well. It made me cry. Tears of happiness because it was such a tender moment, her soft and sweet little voice, her enthusiasm for joining in on the tradition and her big heart....she has such a great big heart. I also cried tears of sadness. I miss my mom. I miss my childhood. Being so far away from my family is really, really hard sometimes.

My brother and his wife welcomed a 7 pound 2 ounce baby girl into our family yesterday. Everyone, everyone thought that they were going to have a boy which made a little girl such a sweet surprise! As of right now she hasn't been named.....they really thought they were going to have a boy! :o) Baby and Mama are doing well and they are both very excited and I'm sure very tired. I never thought David would have kids and when I found out they were expecting I was shocked. I am so incredibly happy for them! I know the joy that children bring to life and I am so glad that they will be experiencing the journey for themselves. I wish I could be there to watch my brother hold his daughter, to see what he looks like being a dad. I wish that I could hold that little girl and tell her what an adventure her life is going to be and how lucky she is to have such great people as parents. I just really wish that I could be there, that I lived closer and that our children could grow up together! Being so far away from my family is really, really hard sometimes.

So, that was my day in a nutshell. I'm feeling better today! My house looks lovely and festive, Maddie has her preschool Christmas program tonight and I can't wait to watch her sing and dance. I finished a quilted scarf for her teacher and it turned out so well that I want to make one for myself! Dan has to work this weekend but then he has 11 days off and after the crazy couple of weeks we've had with the end of school and projects it will be so nice to have all that time to decompress and spend together! Maybe we'll try and squeeze in a date night! 46 days until the Dominican Republic. Yikes!


heyjennifer said...

Thanks for sharing, Gina. I'm sorry you feel so sad about your grandma and being away from your family. It's a blessing that you and your family love each other so much that you miss being around them! But it's a terrible struggle when you want to be close to them and just can't. I'm sorry!
I hope your grandma recovers and gets to go back home quickly. And congratulations on your new niece!
I enjoy reading about your relationship with your girls. I think you're doing such a great job as a mommy!

Keri, Gary, Abigail and Luke said...

Here is a big hug from California!! It must be so hard for you with so much going on and you being so far. But I'm sure they can feel your love and your prayers. Congrats on the neice...can't wait to hear what her name is! I'm praying for Grandma Irene too...she is a strong and stubborn woman, I know she will be fine.

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