My mom called at 8:30pm last night. I was hoping instead it was the real estate agent, calling to say one of the people who looked at our house on Saturday put in an offer (the same sad hope I have every time she calls), but no luck there. I greeted my mom with the usual, "How are you?" and her reply was, "I've been better." From her tone I knew it was not an emergency thing, but a sad thing, so I walked out to the living room with Adam and sat down on the couch.
She told me that my grandma, her mother, had passed away. My grandma was not a young grandma by any stretch...my mother is the eighth of my grandma's ten children and now a grandmother herself ...and my grandma had health problems too numerous to list. But it still came as a bit of a surprise, as we had no notice she was having any serious health issues.
My sisters, cousins and I have all expressed the same thing...that we have this strange mix of joy and sadness. We know that Grandma was prepared for death, and missed my grandpa, who died in an accident 15 years ago. I have no doubt that she is much happier now than she has been in a long time.
But for some reason, that perfect knowledge still couldn't hold back my tears. I have wandered around for most of the day in a haze. I forget what I'm about to do the instant after I decide to do it...I can't remember where I put anything...I keep forgetting what I am supposed to do and where I'm supposed to go. I am flying out to the funeral on Thursday, but I can't even begin to think about what to pack...especially since Connor will be staying home with his dad, and I actually don't have to pack for a kid. It's as if I can see the pieces of myself scattered about...and I know I'm all here but I just can't find the will to put myself back together just right now.
But I can tell you what I do know--family is coming. That side of my family has over 50 first cousins, and lots of them have kids of their own now as well. Many of them I haven't seen in years and years, and even though it is a sad reason for such a gathering, I am so excited to be there. I feel so, so blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family who in times like these have the innate and automatic reaction to pull together and comfort each other. I know that they are exactly what I need right now. What a blessing it is to be born into families, so that we have the opportunity to know others well enough to help them along their way.