Tonight I Visited My Grandmother

It had been a difficult day watching my Dad laying small and frail in his hospital bed fighting to recover after his second spinal cord surgery and 39 day stay in the hospital.   The evening was spent trying unsuccessfully to engage my Mom who submits to a nightly depression due to Dad’s hospitalization and the inability to be by his side.  I had just come from the grocery store after picking up meats for the dogs and cats where “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To” came over the speaker and practically brought me to tears as it conjured images of Mom from days gone by.

I found Nona’s grave in the pouring rain under the blackness of the night sky with only the help of a pen light.   I’m not ashamed to say I fell to my knees and wept over what this past year has done to the two people I love most in the world.  I wept for Mom’s stroke, her paralysis and the loss of her ability to walk or voice her thoughts and desires.  I wept for her embarrassment, frustration and regret.  I wept because Mom and Dad had to spend their 50th anniversary in a hospital.  I wept for  my Dad’s illness and horribly long hospital stay that seems endless.  I wept for the sadness they both experience every single day without each other; without being able to provide support to the other while sick.  I wept for my dogs who haven’t seen the Blue Hills in eight months .  I wept for being angry that my time is no longer my own.  When I thought I was finished and I caught my breath, I cried even more.  I cried because I’m angry.  I cried because I feel guilty for being angry.  I cried because I feel like I’m losing my compassion.  I cried because I just want my mom and dad back.  Then I cried because that may never happen.  I cried because I was having a moment of giving in and giving up and mostly I cried because I feel so damn helpless to help them.

My grandmother heard me and spoke back.  I heard her words clearly in my head.  She told me two things.  The first was to put myself in the hands of God.  That he would see us all through.  The other was to put a kerchief on my head and get out of the rain before I caught a cold.

While it was a little too late for the latter, I could certainly try the former.  So God, here I am.  I put myself in your hands.  Nona is right, I can’t do this alone.  Shine a bit of light and show me what to do and what direction I should be going in because tonight, I feel totally lost.

13 thoughts on “Tonight I Visited My Grandmother

  1. Maria your ability to put your thoughts and pain into vvords is beautiful and touching. God is vvith your mom and dad too. Its ok to feel angry and cheated, its ok that your dogs havent been to the blue hills. They forgive you and better times are in the future. Even though vve dont see each other like the old days, you are alvvays in my thoughts and prayers.


    • Thanks Lisa….I miss you. I think I need to start scheduling time just for me. Maybe we could do a lunch or dinner get together soon.

  2. Marian, thanks for being so transparent. You’ve eloquently expressed what so many of us are going through. My mom has Lewy Body Dementia and every day is an avalanche of different emotions. Day by day, step by step. God is always there to love, direct and support.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your mom Donna. I think the most painful thing is not being able to take it away from them; make them better….right now, in the present. It truly has become day by day and even minute by minute. Bless you and your mom.

  3. so sorry for your pain, but as your grandmother said, if you put yourself in God’s hands, he will carry you and give you strength and go through it with you…you are a good daughter…

    • Thanks Paula. For all the things they’ve done for me throughout my life, the least I can do is be by their sides when they need it most. Even if I’m just providing a familiar face. Though I wonder if that’s more painful than helpful for mom some days.

  4. I cried as I read this. I too have been there , not my parents yet, but my spouse. Don’t try to handle it alone ask for help. I was lucky my parents were there for me. Things do get better it just takes time and faith. God will help you through this.

    • Beth, then you know not only what I’m going through but certainly what my parents are going through too. I’m so sorry. It’s not easy.

      My big brother helps all the time. I don’t know what I’d do without him. But there are times, no matter how much assistance we have, it gets overwhelming. Not so much physically. I keep waking, standing, moving….it’s the emotional part that inflicts the most pain and it sneaks in at some of the most inopportune times.

  5. I just lost my dad Nov 7th…I cried along with you on this post. I am not at peace with my dad’s passing knowing I did absolutely everything I could to help him. You will be too one day. This will be your reward some day…to be able to hold your head up and be proud of your love.

    • I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost your Dad. It must be incredibly painful. But hearing what you said makes very real sense and is comforting. I just hope it’s a long, long time away.

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