Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saying Goodbye

(One of my favorite pictures of her as a girl)
Yesterday we laid my grandmother to rest. While I am grateful and rejoicing that she is no longer suffering, I am still sad that I won't see her anymore.

Even though her health had been declining for years, her death still came as a shock to me. At 12 she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and had many health issues as a result. Doctors told her not to expect to live a full life as a result but she defied them all and died one day short of her 75th birthday.

She was a remarkable woman, though her life wasn't always easy, she was a very determined soul. She graduated from high school at 16 and attended Rice University on a full scholarship.  She graduated with a B.A. in English at 21 and married my grandfather the same weekend. After only 16 years of marriage my grandfather died unexpectedly and she was left to raise my father and 2 uncles without him.  She did what she had to do, she leaned on family, went back to work and yet still found plenty of time for her boys.

She was thrilled when I was born, her first granddaughter. Some of my memories are her making me lemon cake for my birthdays because at the time it was my favorite and no one made it like her.  I remember the time she came to get me after work to drive me to my great-grandmother's house for a week-long visit because my parents couldn't take me.  I had many fun weeks throughout the years when I got to spend time at her house. In the past few years she hasn't been able to drive because her eyesight was failing so I, among others, have taken her to various appointments.  She always worried that she was a burden but I told her I was happy to help her out since she had always been there for me growing up.

(My baptism - January 28, 1979)
Brandon and I were fortunate enough to be able to spend time with her once a week for the last 7 years.  Since her eyesight was poor, I would go over and fill a few days worth of insulin syringes for her.  We almost always stayed to visit, I know she was pretty lonely being confined to the house. She was sharp tongued and could talk a blue streak, we enjoyed discussing politics, current events, asking her about her life, and getting her to laugh. Brandon was one of the few who could get away with teasing her and so he did. With a twinkle in his eye, he would catch her off guard and make her laugh. She repaid Brandon by teasing him about his "love" for baseball.

I'm glad I was able to spend so much time with her and grateful to have known her through my adult life. I will miss her, we all will.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Catching Up or Catching My Breath

("back blogging," trying to catch up on thoughts that I started but never finished.)

Ugh!  There time went again.  Things haven't been easy lately.  I was looking forward to the summer of relaxing a bit, where our usual activities and duties end for a couple of months.  Instead those activities were replaced with other stressors.

I was excited to finish VBS in June because that was my only major "job" for the summer.  Ahh, time to relax a bit before fall starts back in full swing and our little one makes an entrance.  At the end of the week I was promptly hit with what I thought was a cold but ended up just being a particularly nasty struggle with allergies.  In my effort to "protect" Baby, I tried not to take anything over-the-counter.  But continual coughing and round ligament pain don't mix very well.  I figured vapor chest rub was ok to use, except I found out after having it on for 5 minutes that I was allergic to something in it. (probably eucalyptus)  So I just suffered and "enjoyed" the other...er..."delightful" effects coughing has on a pregnant woman.

Brandon's work load has been insane.  On the one hand, during a down economy it is nice that he has lots of work to do. However, when there is too much work for him to do all himself and yet they expect him to, that's frustrating.  He has been working so much at home on nights and weekends that I haven't had any time to spend with him or quite frankly, talk to him.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago it took it's toll. A light bulb went off and I realized we needed to "fix" this problem.

Because of work we kept having to push our vacation back.  We finally just decided to have a spontaneous, week-long road trip which ended up being only 3 days due to work.  (Grrrr!!)  One would think that he is a doctor, always on-call with the number of "emergencies" that come up while he is gone.  We are planning a romantic, long weekend in September where we hopefully won't be interrupted by work calls since it will be over a weekend. (Crossing fingers) We seriously could use some "us" time before Baby enters our world.

My newest cousin, Alexander arrived on June 3rd.  I still find it a bit funny that I have a newborn 1st cousin.  True, my oldest 1st cousin is half my age but Alexander and our little one will be the same age. Another nice thing is we live close by so I have already had the pleasure of watching him a couple of evenings while my aunt and uncle went out for a bit. I can only hope our baby is as laid back as he is.  Not a peep this child made for me unless he was getting his diaper changed. Then it was like an olympic sport trying to get a new diaper on. It will be so nice for our little one to have a buddy so close by.