A blessing in the form of a job related emergency allowed me to visit my family and friends in New York and New Jersey...One full day....in and out.
I stepped off the plane, checked my messages....My Grandmother who has been like a mother to me is in the hospital and has been since Wednesday. I could not have found out at a better time. My family is learning to respect my emotional limitations and my being 3,000 miles away from an emergency which involves my favorite person in the world is Numero Uno on the list of causing me to have a neurological breakdown. Hearing and not seeing makes things a hundred times worse. I was able to get the message and then go see for myself....the situation at hand. She's 92 years old and anytime I tell the age to people whose Grandmother's were distant old Grandmother's not second mother's like mine, they look at me like I'm crazy for being so distraught instead of being grateful she's been healthy and great up until now.....Screw all of that. I don't care if she's 115 years old.....she is the love of my life. I have found my own strength through the strength of this wonderful woman......Minnie Pearl. And now I have to figure out how to be strong for her.
I spent my Saturday bedside by one of the greatest women to ever grace earth. Basking in the glow of my beloved Great-Grandma who I lived with for fourteen years. And who I've been told must officially go to a nursing home..this woman who is completely aware of her situation and horrified at the thought of never going home again....and with this news my spirit has forever changed and I'm just working on keeping a positive appreciation for this gift of life and all it's glory while really feeling like jumping off a cliff.
I am finishing up the book "The Red Tent, in this life-saving great read, the daughter and narrator of the book makes a comment about being grateful for not being around to witness the pain, suffering and passing of her mother, aunts and all her loved ones. She missed them terribly, she worried and felt guilty for not being there to offer help and support but....still grateful for not being around to witness the agony and pain.
I have moments where I feel like I should move back to New Jersey to make sure my Grandma is as comfortable as possible seeing as how her worse nightmare is coming true....to be poked at and prodded in a nursing home until the end of her days( the horror)......I should be there to make sure her hair stays clean and beautiful and to make sure her beautiful skin stays soft and supple through the loving application of pure Karite Shea butter and to make sure her nails stay trimmed and filed. She has a few dozen grandchildren and great-grands who live in the area and go to visit...but I am the self-ordained favorite and these thoughts plague me, though this may be one mission I fail because......I can't take it. When I look into my beloved Grandma's eyes, I can see her frustration and embarrasment at her condition.......that she will never cook another meal on this earth, or care for another child or sit with her favorite Grandaughter and enjoy the Fisherman's seafood platter (her favorite) at Red Lobster or just pick up a piece of f%*&in' paper off the ground (she mentioned the paper to me herself) .....it breaks my heart in to five billion llittle pieces and the despair becomes to much for me to handle. I can't even believe I'm able to write about it like this, but I also feel I must or else I will turn into dust and crumble to the ground.
It seems human suffering and tragedy are hitting home like a tornado leaving sad and defeated bodies piled up all around and all I can manage to do is escape to Los Angeles where denial IS a river in egypt and in LA and I intend to jump in head first...where I'll probably suffer a concussion because we all know how shallow the river of denial is although my tears might help deepen it....some of the best advice I ever got...came from my friend Luis.....it's okay to cry, sometimes we just need to.....AMEN....and I'm okay with it...so I've taken to crying whenever and wherever....in the cab, on the plane while ordering coffee from the flight attendant, in the office, at the laundromat, at the post office....wherever...it feels damn good. It's the holding it in that hurts.
This move to the west, though emotionally, physically and financially taxing as hell, has saved my life and I'm working so hard to hold on the the reality of how "Living Life" can really save one's life. The people I've met...bad and good, fun and boring have all helped me.....and I, like Dinah, in "The Red Tent", am grateful.
But I still have my moments. Sad moments where I think of somehow rigging a knife so that I might collapse on it and split my pained heart in two. Yes, like that. Thank the big God of little fishes that these are MOMENTS....and they pass. And then I get up and get out and go live the life I've been blessed with instead of living in a constant state of life threatening despair over things I can't control.
Writing helps.....it really does....but reality is harsh....it really is.
Thank God for great memories, moments, photos and recording devices of all kinds.