Wednesday, September 4, 2013

'Till we meet again

I have been terrible at blogging. Terrible! I use to do it religiously, but over the past couple of years, with all the ups and downs we have had, blogging got put on the back burner. I have said it before, so we will see if I actually live up to what I am saying, but I really want to make it a goal to blog once a week. We'll see. There is a lot I could write about. First day of school, Archer joining the clan, all of our adventurers and our misadventures too. But recently, I lost my Grandma. I loved my Grandma so much. She didn't really understand all that was going on between my mom and myself. She loved her daughter (my mom) and she loved me. She was able to compartmentalize the two relationships. She loved me for me and the estrangement between me and my mother played no part in how my Grandma treated me. For the past couple of years or so, my strong independent Grandma was living in an assisted living home. I got the pleasure and the privilege of seeing her often. She was an hour away from us, so we could only make the trip every other week, but I am so glad we put in the effort to go as often as we did. The kids were shy and unsure of who she was when we first started our bimonthly visits, but by the end, she was Grandma Bruun to them. They knew her. And when news of her passing came to our family, my sweet little ones cried when they found out that their Grandma Bruun was now gone. She loved my kids, and my kids loved her. I will miss so much about her. But mostly, I will miss the unconditional love she gave to me. She loved me, flaws and all. Heaven is a little brighter.
These pictures were taken when Reece was just a baby. She loved babies. She loved Chad. She told me once that "Chad sure has changed since you first married him..." I tried to convince her that Chad is the same person now that he was then, maybe a little bit more mature, with a the understanding that 10 years brings. But she was insistent that no, in fact Chad had changed. I just gave it to her. I know it was her way of reconciling what my mom was saying about him with the person that came to visit twice a month with me. But, I did love that my Grandma got to see who Chad really was, and see that indeed I was in love and we were happy and we have this beautiful little family. When I got pregnant with Archer, I noticed that as my belly grew bigger, my Grandma grew weaker. I knew that she didn't have much longer on this earth. We upped our visits. I will forever be so grateful to Chad for supporting me and accompanying me to see my Grandma. It wasn't his Grandma, he didn't have to come along. But he came and even encouraged me to go when I hadn't been in a while. Archer's due date was Aug. 28th. But he was born on Aug 6th instead. I am so grateful for that too. Because it was a week later that my Grandma died. But before she did, she was able to meet Archer.
She held Archer for such a long time. She was hot and itchy because she was on morphine drip, but everytime I asked her if she wanted me to take the baby, she said no. Archer just slept in the arms of the women who made me feel so safe so many times growing up. Those arms that held me when I cried, those hands that made me breakfast and lunch, that taught me to crochet and do needle point, that always smelled of Jergens lotion and serenity. Those same arms that held me at a week old, was holding my little one week old. One life was just beginning and one was coming to a close. It was such a tender, beautiful, bittersweet snap shot in time to be a witness to. Her last words to me were "Melissa, I want you to be happy." I am Grandma, I am. "I love you." I love you too Grandma. And that was our last conversation together. I promised her that I would be back, but I didn't get the chance. Two days later, she died.
I am greatful for the peace and knowledge that the gospel brings. To know that my Grandma is still very much a part of my life is such a gift. I am grateful for that last visit with her. The hour that I spent holding her hand. I am feel so blessed and thankful for my family. For Chad, for the love he showed me. For holding my hand and for being my rock during the viewing and funeral, which was hard on so many levels for so many different reasons. But he gave me the strength to get through. And with just a look or a squeeze of my hand, his hand at the small of my back, he was silently telling me that he understood and he was there for me. I am thankful for cousins and Aunts and Uncles. Family I thought I had lost, family that showed me that they have always been there. I am so grateful for the belief I have that there is no end to these relationships that we have here on earth. That family bonds extend beyond death. I love you Grandma, and I will miss you until we met again.

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