Going Home and Saying Goodbye

Posted: November 7, 2010 in childhood

The last two weeks have been beyond crazy (hence the lack of posting). It started off with house sitting for a professor who was out of town. That was an interesting experience in and of itself for a lot of reasons I wasn’t anticipating. It’s a gorgeous house, beautifully decorated…completely the opposite of what I grew up in. I’m super sensitive to being respectful when I stay in other people’s houses because of the mess I was raised in. I get a lot of requests to house sit because of this.

Meanwhile, my boyfriend and I decided to host a Halloween party at our house. We did this last year as well, and it was a huge deal for me, as well as a big step forward. Growing up, it was a very rare occasion when other people were allowed into our house because of its condition. I’ve always been super touchy (too much so, in the past) about having other people in my space and around my things, so it was a big, big deal for me to finally open up my home to others. This year, there was much less anxiety and much less hassle in planning out the party, and it felt good to see how far I’ve come in a concrete way.

Bad things always seem to happen at odd times. Mid-way through the Halloween party, I got a text message from my mom informing me that my grandma in California had died. I’ve been trying to explain to mom for over a week now that a text message wasn’t an appropriate vehicle for that information…she doesn’t seem to get it. So there I was, mid-party, with a house full of people, drunk, and trying to process the information that my grandma had died. This was the grandma that raised me. She took care of me while my mother was at work, and filled in some of the gaps in parenting that existed for most of my life. She’s been in a nursing home for almost ten years now, and processing all of this has been more challenging than I thought it would.

Her death has forced me to face head on things I’ve been shying around for the last few years. It also necessitated another trip to California, right on the heels of the one I just took. To top all that off, my boyfriend was at job interviews in North Dakota, and couldn’t go with me. I ended up traveling to California with my parents and facing down a lot of scary things. In that respect, my grandma’s death has strangely given me a lot of confidence and healing. I’ll start trying to wrap my head around it in the coming days, typing as I process. I think grandma would be honored that I’m learning from her, even now.

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