I forgot to bring my lunch to work with me today. I remembered it about 20 miles into my commute so there was no way I could go back for it. I’m back on Weight Watchers, so I can’t just go to McDonald’s without doing myself a serious disservice (I’ve lost 13 pounds so far). I was so mad at myself, I almost cried.
I’m not usually this wishy-washy. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know my grandma died last June. I adored her – she was my favorite person in the world. In the last couple of weeks, my grandpa has been ill. The doctors discovered he has cancer and it is everywhere…colon, liver, lungs…they aren’t giving him much time. And I can’t get up there to see him.
It’s disheartening that you can get time off work to go to a funeral, but you can’t get time off to go see someone before they die. I know some companies are more flexible with this…in fact, my previous company would go out of their way to shuffle staff around to allow an employee the opportunity to go see their loved one before they pass. Now, I only get 3 days to attend the funeral.
This is the one thing that makes being so far away a major inconvenience. I feel obligated to be there to help my mom and aunt with these last days and all the work that will be ahead of them once grandpa is gone. The funeral is already planned and paid for, but there will be a house to empty out and sell. There will be hugs and support to share. There will be piles of paperwork and stories to tell.
I can’t get there, so Mom has to make the four-hour drive to his home by herself. My aunt has been there with him the last couple of weeks and it’s Mom’s turn. Tag, you’re it. I know she can do it, but I also understand how scared she is. My aunt had her husband for moral support, my mom will be there alone. It tears me up that I can’t drop everything and be her moral support.
I don’t want to disappoint grandpa that I am unable to get there. I know he understands and he wouldn’t want me to jeopardize my job to come up, but I feel like I’m letting him down. I feel like I’m letting my mom and aunt down.
On top of all this is the realization that my grandparents will be gone. No more vacations to their home on the lake, no more playing marbles at the kitchen table into the night, no more Christmases spent eating cookies and playing with our new toys, no more hugs, no more encouragement, no more making them laugh with stories of my adventures. One of the best parts of my life will be gone. I cherish every memory, but my heart breaks to know we won’t be able to make any more of them.
It makes me contemplate my mortality. My mom’s. The pace at which life feels like it has flown by scares me. I want to slam on the brakes and throw everything in reverse. I was planning to go up and see Grandpa next summer….you always think you have more time.
Instead, I try to pay attention to my responsibilities and I wait for the dreaded phone call. I jump each time the phone rings, willing it to be anyone but my mom calling to tell me it’s all over.