Thursday, December 1, 2011

This time last year. . .

I have a hard time with reflections sometimes.  As I age, and it's happening rapidly, I remember the bad things sometimes more than the good things.  Last year at this time, I was having a really really rough time.
Some people in my life live in a special place stored just for them.  My grandmother was one of these people and still is.  It's gonna seem crazy to some of you that I remember this timeline exactly, but I do.  Last year on November 1st, my Grandma was admitted into the hospital for a stomach ache and "lung ache" she had for a few months prior.  She had been told that she had pleurisy before that and was instructed to take antibiotics. On November 9th the diagnosis of actual cancer.  In the meantime, Gary's mom had been admitted into the hospital, and we found out at Zach's birthday party on Nov. 6th that she had cancer also.  Anyway - long story short - my grandma died 2 days before Christmas and Gary's mom died on Christmas morning last year.  I loved both of these women very much.  June was so original and I could always see so much of her in my Neo.  I still do.  Gary - I'm sorry if you didn't want me to share any of this.  I love you.
Anyone that knew me at the time of the divorce of my parents, knew that my grandparents were the people that kept me from breaking.  I always thought that my Grandpa would go first, and I was prepared for that (well as much as I could be), but I never even really imagined losing our family matriarch. I wonder if this season will ever feel like it used to for me, with all the mystery, majesty and glory.  I was seriously thinking of not putting up even a tree this year.   When I was a kid, my Grandparents were snow birds but flew to CA every winter.  When I'd see my Grandpa in the Summer, I believed with my whole heart that he was Santa.  He resembled him so much, and I knew it was Santa on vacation.  My Grandma had me convinced that Smurfs were real, and we hunted them.  So many good memories.
Some of you may think that this is the only death that I've really been faced with, but no.  My first cousin was killed in a crash when we were both 19.  (Well he had just turned 20)  He was 4 months older than me, and his death killed a little part of me.  He and I grew up together and were very close, along with one of my best childhood friends, Ricky.  We three kings did everything together.  We grew up in the country and built forts and played hide and seek and lots and lots of wiffle ball and dodge ball.  Death Hurts!
****I know this seems like a pitty me session...Not meaning to do that, but I do want you to stop and THINK...
I have been struggling lately with why people think it's necessary to hold any contempt or hatred in their heart for anyone.  I know that was a little random, but really, if I've learned anything in the last 34 years, it has been that life is too short to not live your life to the fullest.  This means that you need to enjoy or try to enjoy every minute of every experience.  I remember a few years ago when I was at my great Uncle Bob's funeral.  I remember thinking, I'm glad this isn't my Grandpa, and praying that it would never happen.
The one Truth that we all know is that everyone dies.  What happens after death is uncertain, but while we live we can do as much as we can to love and be happy for ourselves and those around us.  Mind you, I am a Christian and I do believe that I will see these people again.
I ask that if you're reading my blog, that you think about being truly (not just think it, and say it, but actually feel it) thankful for those in your life and for all the experiences you have.  Learn from things, love people and cherish them.

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