In a little over a week, my world is about to change. At first I tried to convince myself it wouldn’t have that big of an impact; that it wouldn’t bother me much and that I would adjust easily enough. I tried to push back the tears and bury the sense of fear that was trying to climb. Old memories came flooding back against my wishes and fought with current realities for my attention. Sadness and regret pulled on my heart… both for things in the past as well as dreams left unmet in the here and now.
Grandma comforting David
Truth is… my world is about to change and it’s not going to be in a small way. My mother is leaving. A short time ago she lost her job in a round of layoffs after having just gotten back to work after months of medical leave. When this happened, she found herself facing a big decision. Should she stay and struggle through? Try to get her job back? Maybe a new one? Or should she move somewhere that offered her a new start and a place to stay until she was able to get back up on her feet?
She made a wise decision to choose the latter, but sadly that means she will be leaving for Oregon soon to move in with my sister and start a new life for herself half a country away. I couldn’t offer her the same kind of help as my sister. My sons and I don’t have the means or the resources to take care of her while she tries to rebuild her life. I don’t even have the power or privilege to offer her a room to stay in my home as it’s not mine… I rent under a government aid program as my own disability, and other things life has harshly dealt out, has left me in need of financial aid in order to support my two sons and myself. Where as my sister has a home of her own with a room to share, as well as the finances needed to help support my mom in her time of need.
Joshua and Grandma
I am happy for my mom, I truly am. This move will be good for her. I am happy for my sister and my niece too as I know they have missed her and they will be blessed to get to have her so close again. The whole thing still weighs heavily on my heart though… and it’s not just because of the impact this is having on my two sons, who live for their time with their favorite Grandma and who are already broken as they understand a little better each day that she’s going somewhere that they can’t follow… They have been left and hurt so many times by so many people they should have been able to count on and the only two people in their life that provided them any kind of stability at all have been me and their grandma… and now they are losing her as well… At least in their minds and hearts that is how this all seems. I am trying my best to get the to understand differently though.
My mom and I don’t have the greatest past. We don’t even have the greatest present to be honest. There has been a lot of pain on both sides and a lot of scars as a result. But… she’s still my mom and my heart still breaks at the idea of saying goodbye. Especially since just in the last couple of months we have finally had some talks that have brought so much understanding and healing.
David and Grandma at play
She also has been a staple in my life from before I can even remember. Being one that craved independence I admit that I hated having to need her so much, but all the same I was still grateful to have her help when she could. She even helped me take care of my oldest, David, after he was first born and I was so sick and weak I could barely move. What I treasure most about that situation though was that she loved me and David enough to not try and take my place either even though the situation would have made that a very easy thing to do. Instead, she helped me be there for David and filled in the gaps where I physically was unable to. As a result, even though I was chronically and seriously ill, I was still able to be blessed with the special and irreplaceable time of bonding with my son, and David was double blessed by being able to have that time with two people that loved him unconditionally with all of their hearts. My mom and David have always had an inseparable bond between them as a result too. One that was at a level most grandmas and grandsons don’t get to treasure together. ❤
David and Grandma playing in the snow
I have other memories of when my mom stepped forward in my times of need too. In fact, as I look back at my life, for every scar formed and every moment of pain, I can more than balance it out with separate memories of love, encouragement, and support. Our lives and relationship may not have been perfect, but I know she loves me as much as I love her and that we both did our best and will continue to do so. I may not have always been able to see this truth, but I do now and it’s what I am clinging to right now as I watch my mom pack up her things and get ready for her move.
I am going to miss her… the tears are flowing already even as I write this and she’s not even gone yet…
I know we will have phone calls and letters and the occasional vacation/visit, but it won’t be the same. And as much as my heart yearns to pack up and follow her, I know I can’t do that for a number of different reasons.
L to R: Me, David, Joshua, my mom
I am going to miss her help and support. My life will get notably more difficult without her here to help with the boys or help fill in the gaps when my health fails me like it tends to still do from time to time. But none of that is what I am going to miss the most… what I will miss the most is the friendship that we were finally starting to solidify. One that has been in the works for a long time and has seen some major ups and downs, but has finally gotten some much needed boosts recently that I don’t think either one of us expected or even realized we needed until they happened.
David and Grandma at the art show
In a little more than a week I will be losing more than just a member of my family… I will be losing more than a mom, or even a grandma to my boys… I will be losing a woman who was becoming my best friend and who has been my most trusted confidant for a long time. Given all our hardships, my mom still knows more about me, my heart, and what makes me tick, than anyone else ever will. And a lot of that has become true in just the last few years…
It is with a heavy heart that I offer my sincerest well wishes and blessings to my mom on this new chapter in her life. And with tears, I say my goodbyes but also pray that she finds happiness in this new adventure.
And mom? If you are reading this, please know that you have my heart and always will. I love you, I’ll miss you, and I wish you God’s best in this new journey of yours. ((hugs)) Keep in touch ❤