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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Role Reversal

In the twists and turns of life, there come those times where the caregiver becomes the care receiver.  This week has been a bit of a lesson in this for me.  It isn't as though I haven't known that life lesson, it's just that it has been so sweetly and poignantly clear in the last few days.  In the midst of my sorrow, it is another point in gratitude.

Since Monday, The Grommet has come home for lunch every day.  He always has some "reason" for doing so.  Some small "errand" he's running for his boss.  But I can read between the lines...he's been checking on me.  On Tuesday, I never got out of my jammies.  I don't think I even brushed my hair or my teeth.  Pretty pathetic, I know, but I kinda felt entitled.  When Bry got home and saw me he came over and rubbed my shoulders.

     "Hey, why don't you go to the beach?" 

That made me smile because that is truly our mantra; his and mine.  I shrugged my shoulders, thanked him, and declined.  I just didn't have the energy. 

     "You gotta get outta here, Mommy.  This isn't good for you."

I told him I knew, but I honestly couldn't pull myself together today.  He gave me one last, gentle admonishment about grief and how I can't let it take over my life.  I smiled at him because I knew where his heart was.  As I've mentioned, grieving is hard enough when you're the one in mourning.  But it's ten times harder watching people you love grieve and feeling helpless.  If you could take the pain for someone you love, you would.  The universe knows this young man has had more than his fair share.

     "Bry, I know you are more acquainted with grief than a lot of people.  So please understand when I tell you that I feel like I deserve to grieve today.  It's only been a day.  I promise, it'll be okay.  But for now, I need to work out my sadness.  I love you and I know you care about me and are worried.  I'll be okay."

He nodded.  "Okay, but if you need me, I'm five minutes away."  And off he went.

Yesterday, The Grommet and Charlie knew that I had cancelled my "date" with my friend Zack, who was kind enough to ask me to accompany him to a special premiere event screening of a movie he had worked on.  His partner was working and couldn't attend, and when he asked me last week, he said that he just thought I could use something fun and happy to do.  He was right.  At the time I was overjoyed.  In my heart, I thought that Ellie was doing so well, and I had my head convinced that she would be with us at least another month or so.  Maybe longer.  Interestingly, I had no idea when I talked to Zack on Monday to tell him about Ellie and how I didn't think I could pull myself together for the premiere and how I hoped he could find a new "date" for the evening, that I'd also be without transportation.  Caris was having car trouble, so we did some family car-swapping, which left me without my car since Tuesday.  I would have had no way to get to Hollywood.  When it rains it pours.

When Bry came home at lunch, he TOLD me that we were changing our regular Thursday Pub Night to Wednesday instead.  "You have to get out of this house.  We're going."  I laughed, but did not argue.  He was determined.  We did have a nice dinner together as a family.  It isn't often that the four of us who live under the same roof are able to do that, schedules being what they are, but for some reason, the stars aligned.  It did my heart especially good to see Caris happy and laughing.  Ellie's passing has been immeasurably hard on her too.  Bryson's humor has helped there.  He makes her laugh like no one else can.

They say that one day the child becomes the parent.  They also say that with grief comes gratitude.  "They" sure are wise.  "They" must have had some pretty loving people in their world.  I know I do.


Blogger Patrick said...

Having had the pleasure of sitting at that table, with those four amazing souls, (fifth one lying contentedly nearby), this post has wonderful resonance for me. The love, support and delight in one another that Bill and I witnessed that evening is proving its strength and healing powers right now.
It IS still early yet, so grieve as you need to grieve... but I Bryson is a wise fellow too, and I'm glad you all have each other to coax along.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

"I THINK Bryson is a wise fellow"...

8:08 AM  
Blogger auburnpisces said...

Wait, you missed a Hollywood film premier?! ;)

I'm with Patrick...grieve as you need to grieve. I am going to side with the Grommet though. You need to get out of the house a little. Feel the sunshine on your face and get some fresh air. Ellie's racing around in spirit with her friends outside probably barking her little ass off at you trying to get you come sit outside so you can think of her and imagine them all racing in circles in the yard. She's free and happy and not sick. Let that lift your heart, my sister.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

Patrick, you are so kind and your words so comforting. Thank you. I always feel so proud and so blessed when I am able to share the joy that is my family. They are a treasure. Even more so in these really hard times. I'm so glad to have been able to share that really special evening with you and Bill, and I'm especially glad that you had the chance to meet Ellie, who, it seemed, was happy to meet you too.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

Aub..indeed I did miss a Hollywood film premier. My friend Zack was so adorable to invite me to be his date, but I knew that I couldn't navigate Hollywood traffic by myself with my nerves and emotions already frayed. Which turned out to be a moot point anyway since I ended up not having a car at all. *sigh And, I know myself...I didn't even get out of my jammies yesterday until Wes showed up with Kiva AFTER 1:00 in the afternoon. I know I need to get out, but funny thing...about that sunshine...All of last week, through the weekend, and even on Monday, the sun was gorgeous. On Monday evening, darkness fell, and it's been rainy and gloomy ever since. I know she's free of the body that failed her and I'm trying to be comforted with that. I am grateful for the simple joys. But..my heart is soooo broken right now. :(

9:01 AM  
Blogger Marc said...

I cried. What a marvelous and compassionate soul you have wrought in such a young man. I haven't met him but I can't wait to give him the biggest hug when I see him.

5:47 PM  

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