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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!

7 thoughts on “

  1. Donna, What an emotional journey you have been on, literally, and figuratively. Again, I’m so sorry for the loss of your Grandmother. I cry with you at such a loss. I’m happy that amongst the tears, there was laughter, I’m sure that made your Grandmother smile, and was of some peace to your Dad. I know how close you are to him, so I’m sure you’re hurting for your own loss, but for the pain, and loss your father is suffering. You, and your entire family are in my prayers. I will also be praying that now that Ryley is home, and can settle into his normal routine, his behavior will return to normal. Kids have an amazing ability to pick up on our out of sync rythmn. Its a pretty good possibility that’s what was up with Ryley. Know I’m thinking about you. And by the way.. no thanks needed for the call. I’m always happy to talk with such a great friend! Hugs, and prayers.
    Karri

  2. Donna –
    I know we’ve talked about this before – seeing our parents in pain – and knowing that that will be us someday is something that I can hardly fathom. I try to push it to the back of my mind. Yes, it’s denial – but that’s how I’m dealing right now. I am so very sorry for the loss of your grandma – and for your dad’s pain. I wish I could help take it away. Long car rides are hard on everyone – especially kids. But I also know that doesn’t help the situation when the kids act up. (Trust me I think we’ve all been there!) Hang in there –
    Hugs to you –
    Denise

  3. Donna-
    What a journey! Maybe you’ll have some insight for my first car trip with Lesley! Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!
    ~Tracy

  4. Oh you poor thing! I know how nice it must have been to be home agan. I’m sorry Ethan gave you such a trial on your already very emotional trip! I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandma. You are in my thoughts! Extra big hugs to you today Donna. Grandma is now with all the other Share angels. With love,
    Donna

  5. Donna,
     I am sorry for the loos of your grandmother. I lost my grandmother 2 1/2 years ago to a long and hard road of cancer. It’s not easy for us to lose our grandparents but, it’s just that hard on our parents when they lose their parents. Your grandmother and mine are holding all baby angels in the big blue sky. I will pray for you. BIG HUGS, Misty

  6. Donna, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother… My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family… WOW!!!..52 hours + 1100 miles is enough to wear anyone out, then when factoring all the character building experiences you experiences along the way, certainly sounds like a memorable journey… I will keep your family in my prayers.
    Hugs and Healing
    Love ya
    Melody

  7. Donna, I am so deeply sorry for your loss, sweetie!! It sounds like, although the reason for the trip was a sad one, saying goodbye to a beloved grandmother, some good came out of it, and you got to spend time with family, namely Debby!! She sounds like she takes after your grandmother!! I’m sorry the kids were soooo bad and so *those* kids for you, when you really needed them to be good. They do pick up on things though, and I think they sensed your stress and pain, and went from there. Hoping and praying life gets back to normal for all of you soon. Kudos to Michael for being that great husband, right when you need him!! What a guy!! You & your family are in our prayers!! I know it’s hard to see your dad in such pain, but you are there for him, and that is what counts the most. Hugs, hope, and healing,
    Sharlene

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