James is posting this for me. I’m SHARE-less today!
We’re back from our pilgrimage to say goodbye to my grandmother. It was a rough two days. The services went really well, and it was great to see family members I haven’t seen in years (in spite of the circumstances), but as usual, I am so glad to be back home.
The first 90 minutes of our 7 hour drive up on Monday started with a running commentary from Ethan on EVERYTHING that came into view. “Mommy, truck, mommy!” “Mommy, house!” “Look, Momma, light!” “Wow, Momma, wow, dracdur (tractor)!” And on, and on, and on it went. Karri got an earful of it herself while we were on the phone (thanks again, Karri for the call…I really needed it at that point!). Once the commentary ended, subsequently at the same time the first movie was over, the crying began. And it didn’t stop…..for….five…..hours………..Ethan would not be consoled. Ethan would not sleep. Ethan would not eat, or drink. The only thing Ethan would do was cry and scream. It was awful. We just wanted to get to my mom’s, but I was so close to just telling Michael to pull over and get a hotel in the middle of nowhere, just to make the crying stop. Then Ethan stopped crying, for about 15 minutes or so. But by then, we were close enough to my mom’s that we decided to just trudge on and get there. We got there, at 2am, unloaded just what we needed for the night, and crashed to sleep. Ethan, lovely child that he was this trip, decided there would be no sleeping in the pack n play for him. Desperate for sleep, I gave in, and he slept with me and Michael. Tuesday morning, we drove another 3 hours to get to the funeral. The funeral part wasn’t so bad. All my siblings but one was there. My sister Debby came prepared with markers and paper for the kids. That kept them busy for nearly an hour. Then Michael took them out to the car to do more coloring and watch a movie during the funeral. I am truly blessed to have a husband so wonderful…..he knows when I need time to focus on my family and myself instead of being distracted by the kids. He was awesome throughout the entire trip. After the funeral, we went out to eat with part of the family. The awful behavior took me by surprise. My boys were awful….they were “those kids” that you wish other parents would take out of the restaurant…..crying, yelling, throwing things, talking back……..I wanted to hide under the table. I don’t know what’s going on with Ryley, but he’s never behaved this badly for such an extended period of time. He was completely out of control, pushing every button we have. Even Michael, usually much more patient with him, was losing it. It made an exhausting day even longer. We did get to see one of Michael’s high school friends whom I haven’t seen since before Ryley was born, and we also were able to squeeze in a visit to my godmother. ALL five of us completely crashed on Tuesday night.
Wednesday was the graveside service. This is the hard part……..the final goodbye…..the last words…..the last time I would see my grandmother’s physical body on this earth. The worst part was seeing the effect it had on my dad and his siblings. I know how much, or I think I know how much, it will hurt me when I lose my Dad. I can just imagine that’s how he feels right now. It broke my heart. I haven’t really had time to grieve my grandmother’s passing. She leaves such an amazing legacy. She is of a family that helped shape San Jose. She had 55 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. She was a spitfire….full of life, full of spirit and spunk. In the words of my uncle, she was small, but she was powerful. I’m sure I will come to peace with my grief when the dust has settled a little bit.
After spending some more time with family, we headed home. I did get to see my sister Debby. She looks amazing…..in the midst of her second round of chemo…I know that she gets her fire from my grandmother. Debby had us laughing constantly, and is quick to share her love and hugs. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that I learned there are some positive things that come out of chemo. There were tears, yes, but there was also a lot of laughter. We did have eight hours of travel home yesterday. Ryley decided to continue his streak of bad behavior, and he also decided that he needed to stop to go potty about every half hour. Not a good idea when you’re driving literally in the middle of nowhere, with no bathrooms within 50 miles. At least boys can handle things better without toilets than girls can……We arrived home late last night, mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted, 52 hours and 1100 miles of family togetherness later.
PS….My sister, Amy, and brother, Kip, have been popping into SHARE to keep up with my kids through my blog. Amy finally decided to become a member…..She’s been with me every step of the way on this journey with prematurity. So when you see her around the site, say HI!