Where has this week gone? Here one moment, gone the next. The fall air is so crisp and invigorating, it is hard to tear myself away from the beauty of the days. And the days are short and the nights are cold (wait, is that a song?). When my time to write finally arrives its too cool to sit on the porch unless I curl up under a blanket. Anyone know how to type from under a blanket?
Today my mom called me at work. She had a health issue two weeks ago, where she woke up unable to breath. She felt like she was underwater. Her ankles and feet had ballooned to freakish size. I know what this is. I lived this with her Dad for years. He was much older than she is now and had emphysema to boot. But I know. She went to a specialist. He did some blood work and tests and said she was fine. Except for one test that hadn’t come back. She told me what that test was. I knew the test and what it means, but I waited for the results quietly. The results came and were not “normal”, but borderline. He told her it was nothing. He said it was just because she was retaining water. Stupid doctor. Why was she retaining water? Duh. They gave her diuretics. Which worked for a time.
Today she could not breath again. She added chest pain to the mix to keep things lively. At the ER she was administered an EKG which showed she was not having a heart attack at the moment. However, her chest pain responded to nitroglycerin. She had gained 6 pounds of water overnight. They have admitted her and have scheduled an angiogram for tomorrow. She is only 64 years young.
I grew up the oldest child in a young family. I remember the day my first child was born and my Dad stood just outside the birthing room with my Mom. He whispered to her, “I am too young to be a Grandfather.” She whispered back, “We were young parents and we are young grandparents. It’s ok.”
My beloved Grama Healy (my great grandmother), who taught me to crochet, was the matriarch of the family. She taught me everything there is to know about being The Matriarch. What I didn’t grasp before she was gone, my grandmother instilled in me. Grama H was 87 when she passed, and I was 10. Shortly after that, my paternal grandfather developed a brain tumor and passed within 6 months of his diagnosis. But that was all the death I had to deal with for years and years.
My maternal grandfather was a fighter. He was given 3-6 months to live every six months for about 10 years. It was surreal many times. When he finally could battle no longer, I was already 38 years old. I have been a very lucky soul. To have so much family surrounding me with their love and strength. And they have mostly spared me loss.
But I know time marches on. I am unable to stop it. I may not feel like I am aging, but I see it in the aging of my parents and my children. This will be a new chapter, this dealing with fear of loss. I have had so much upheaval and disruption these last few years and I feel stronger. But I don’t like the sense of unknown. Of being not sure how I will react and how I will cope. I do not welcome fear. I do not welcome a lack of control. But I am strangely curious as to the next level of my awareness. Of this next stage of my life that I will encounter and absorb and internalize. Who will I be? Who will I become?