Wednesday, May 8, 2013

There Is A Rock In My Stomach

That is sort of what it felt like at first.  Then dread set in and finally a gnawing, unrelenting sorrow.  Followed up by a healthy dose of selfishness and chased back with a double shot of guilt.  Last week, Big C came out of his classroom with a paper in his hand.  A reminder about the Grandmother's Luncheon on Friday May 10th.  I froze at seeing it, then just put it out of my mind. I dropped him off on Friday and the board outside of the the classroom had a note about needing RSVP's for the lunch.  I had that sinking feeling again. Again, I shook my head and pushed it out of my mind.  Just because I felt compelled to do is not a good idea.  It only comes back to haunt torment suffocate you later.

I picked him up that afternoon and he came bounding out of his classroom so excited to see me and bursting to tell me something.

"Guess what Mom?  We're gonna have a lunch!"

There came that feeling again. His teacher hurried out to hand him to yellow pieces of construction paper.  On the front of it, artwork done by him.  Little finger prints made into butterflies and bugs.  On the back, a white sheet of paper adhered to it.  It was an invitation.  Two of them.  One for each of his grandmothers.  He turned to take them from his teacher and his little face fell a bit as he said,

"I only have one grand mom."

She patted his little hand and said he could just keep one then.  I looked at her and my face must have had written what I was feeling all over it as she looked at me sympathetically.  I told her his grandmother lived in Oregon, and the other...was gone...passed away.  She asked if perhaps he had an aunt or other female relative who could bring him.  Again, his only aunt is across the country.  I told her I'd ask his Godmother if she could go with him.  The rock that was sitting in my stomach became heavier with each step toward the car.  Once inside he asked me if I was sad.  This kid misses nothing.  I told him that I was a little.  He asked me if it was because I missed my Mommy and I was barely able to choke out a simple "yes".

I suppose for me, it would be one thing if both of his grandmother's lived far away.  Perhaps I would handle it better.  They simply couldn't be here because of distance.  Not that they couldn't be here...ever.  But my mother will be gone 16 years next month.  She was too young to die.  She should have been able to see her only daughter get married and finally have babies for her to love and spoil.  And I feel like she was robbed of that. I know I know, that sounds so terrible to think that way.  But I can't help it.  I don't feel like this all the time.  Only when things like this come up and that pain is rubbed raw once again.

I did call is Godmother, who is busy with 4 babies of her own.  She was excited at being able to go with him, and my heart lifted that he wouldn't have to miss it.  Unfortunately one of her children has a field trip that she is chaperoning on the same day.  She was terribly disappointed.

Call me a baby, immature.  Tell me to suck it up and get over it if you want.  Roll your eyes and huff about how this won't be the last time.  Things like this are going to happen again and I just have to get used to it.  To that I simply say NO. No I will not.  I will never get used to my mother being dead.  Gone for me, no longer tangible.  I will not get used to seeing my son saddened by not ever being able to see, touch, speak to or hear his grandmother's voice.  A grandmother who so desperately waited for the day to come that she would see a grandchild.  I know I shouldn't let this get to me.  But I look at him playing, hear his sweet little voice and look at his precious smile and it just eats away at me.  It is unfair to him.  He doesn't understand why people die and why they can't just come back.  Other children might just dismiss it completely.  Big C is a very intuitive and sensitive child.  He notices things.  This will not be the last time, I know that.  But this time.  This very first time, it breaks my heart.  It sits as a stone in my belly, my heart sinking down to the same level.

Saddened as I am at this situation, I will not allow it to be a sorrowful experience for him.  So on that day, when school is over and the children meet up with their grandmothers, I will be picking him up and taking him to lunch.  Just he and I.  Little C is going to stay home with J & my Dad while Big C and I have this special day together.  After lunch, we are going to the movies and then if he isn't too tired, to the parlor for ice cream and to play a bit on the playground there.  Hopefully it will be a day he will be able to remember.  Not as the day he couldn't go to the Grandmothers Luncheon because one Grandma is far away and the other is dead, but a special day he spent with Mommy.  I have so many of those.  Days where my mom got me out of school early so we could go to lunch and a movie before my brother got out of school.  I can remember those days like they were yesterday.  She did the same with my brother while I was in school.  It was her way of showing us that we were special to her alone, in a way that only we as individuals could be.  She loved us both and treated us both equally, but always made sure we knew it separately as well.

Mom, help me to be half the Mother you have been.



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