Mama Project: Dirt

Today the sun shone.  It felt particularly essential because on this afternoon, my grandparents’ house was sold.  I desperately needed the brightness of the sky to lift me from despair today.  On May 22, 2012, my grandmother, the center of my family died after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.  One year ago today, she was alive.  And I never imagined that the hole she’d leave would seem so deep, so painful, so hallow.  Their home was a gathering point for holidays, meals, visits, family, laughter.  So many of my most fond memories from childhood are in that house or yard.  This morning, I took a long walk in her yard, chased my own children around the sandy, grassy space.  Watched them lean against the fence, look up at the planes overhead just as I had done for the last 31 years of my life.  Both my grandmother and grandfather were given the gift and privilege of passing on within the walls of their home, in the comfort of their bed, with the strength of family around.  It’s hard to think of them anywhere else.  So it’s difficult to fight the abandonment aching in my throat.

I cling to the items she once touched.  Smelling blankets, cradling her coffee mug, running my hand over a piano stool, watering a plant.  All these items, once hers are now all I have left.  There are no words.  Just deep sadness tonight.  An era in my life has ended.  This afternoon, I took the time to watch my children play in our yard.

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These short moments seem all the better today. A little bitter-sweet but better. It sounds cliche to say that this was surreal.  So surreal.  One day, many, many years from now, their children may walk my yard.  And hopefully, the same feeling of comfort will pass over them.  Peace Mamas.

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4 thoughts on “Mama Project: Dirt

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, Sarah. I also lost my grandmother to Alzheimer’s, but it was 16 years ago this August. Still, she was the center of my universe. Very fortunately my family and I now live in the home that belonged to her and my grandfather, but it too is bitter sweet because it wasold and has been remodeled and I sometimes miss very much the old carpet, paint and furniture. I hope time eases your pain. (Hugs) to you Mama!

    • Thank you for writing- it means so much to me. My grandparents’ house is in an airport zone and will be demolished in the coming months. The house is one of the few remaining in the neighborhood. Sadly, it was the first there over 50 years ago. It’s just heartbreaking… I have a box of tissues I took from her house and have them hidden in my closet to save the “smell”… My heart is heavy tonight- but your kind words have lifted me. Thank you.

  2. Thinking of you Sarah. I was lucky to live next door to my Grandparents growing up, they were like second parents really! I know how you feel! I still miss my Grandfather over 10 years later:) And Cling to the time I spend with my Grandma! She just sold her house, and I know how strange it feels to not be able to just walk thru the doors! Isn’t it crazy how that circle of life thing just becomes so, so clear as we get older!! More like smacks us in the face!!

    • Thanks, Jenn. Hug your Grandma tight. I have an afghan that belonged to my grandmother and I have been holding it, smelling it and wishing I could hug her again. It’s so strange that all this is coming up for me again. She died nearly a year ago and all of a sudden, with the sale of her house, it’s fresh again. Thanks for reading my blog!

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