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.