Happy New Year's Eve (and by the time I'm done with this post, it'll be New Year's) ... I'm blogging my way into 2013!
So, several things have happened since you last heard from me...
Christmas Eve went well. It was truly Christmas-y in the smooth way everything ran. Our kids were well behaved. Our church service was one of the best yet. My mom made the kids their traditional jammies and they all fit perfectly!
(Okay, seriously, it's midnight and now January 1st. I just left the computer for a second to go watch the ball drop in NYC and to kiss my husband, of course. But now I'm back.)
Christmas morning went well and my sister, D, and her daughters joined us around 10:30 or 11, I think. The house was filled with energy, love and delight. It was superb. I love Christmas.
But not long after my sister's family arrived, the phone rang.
It was my mom. Instead of happy news, she had some sad news. Her mother, my grandmother, passed away on Christmas Eve.
Knowing what to say to my mom on the phone while kids were laughing and playing all around me was just so hard. I think I probably said all the wrong things, but the rest of the day I just kept feeling so bad for my mom because she was home alone (with my dad) on Christmas, mourning the loss of her mother.
It didn't really matter that it was time for Grandma to go home after a long bout with dementia. It didn't really matter that Grandma got to spend her most favorite holiday at the feet of Jesus. That stuff would bring us peace later. What mattered is that my mom was having one of her worst Christmases ever. She deserved better.
At least, we had already planned a quick trip to Northern California to see all of our family right after Christmas. We surprised the kids with the trip and on December 26th, we set off in our giant van towards "home."
We had a good visit with C's side of the family and with mine. I spent a lot of time just trying to be a good listener for my mom who was experiencing many emotions and was recalling memories of time with her mom and telling me about each one of them. I gave her a lot of hugs and with each one, I could tell she really didn't want me to let go.
I got the chance to go through Mom and Dad's old photo albums and boxes and started gathering photos of my grandmother because I wanted to contribute something for the memorial service. I don't have everything planned out yet, but my ideas (with C's help) are coming together.
We got home this evening about 7:30 or so. We unloaded the van. I was suddenly very aware of the limited time I have to get the project pulled together, to wash laundry and sort out the stuff from our trip, to assemble gifts and recycle boxes and then, on Thursday night, to pack up.
I'm leaving on Friday morning to fly -- by myself -- back to California. I am going so I can be there for the memorial service. Mom and Dad told me they'd understand if I couldn't make it. But for me, there really wasn't an option.
When my Grandma M. passed away in 2000 and my niece died in 2004, I was unable to fly home for those services. It distressed me greatly that I could not be there to love and support my extended family in that time. I've continued to regret missing those gatherings.
And now, my final living grandparent has died. I am going to be there to stand with loved ones in her honor. I was the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, this is important for me.
It will be hard since this is the first time I've traveled alone (by plane) without even one child by my side. But I know C will hold down the fort more than adequately and by Monday night, I'll be home in New Mexico again.
Anyway, what a way to end 2012 and begin 2013!
I'm praying for good things to come in this new year. I pray each of my readers will be blessed as well.
Take care and I'll blog when I have a moment, but chances are there won't be many moments this week.