It’s Sunday morning, and my little family is piled in my bed. I’m enjoying my first cup of coffee since Friday morning, because I’ve had some kind of stomach bug that’s had me grounded since Friday afternoon. Macy keeps asking me when we’re going to have presents under the tree as there are none.
Every year, I say I’m going to scale back and not buy as much, and every year, I go overboard and spend like crazy. Not this year. I don’t know what it is, but I’m tired, and it shows. The advent calendar Madi got at school hasn’t been touched. The Santa countdown chalkboard hasn’t been changed in 3 days. I haven’t pulled out my kitchen Christmas decor, and the one package that arrived last week hasn’t been wrapped and is holding down the corner of the dining room table.
I awoke this morning from a dream that was so real. Just like in December 2005, my entire family was on a cruise. Everyone was there, including my Grandma. I watched her eat, and someone was standing by her with an umbrella to shade her from the sun. We were at a beach in Charleston, before boarding the ship, and she stood on the shore with her skinny legs. For the past few years, she’s had difficulty maneuvering walking unassisted, so I thought it odd in my dream that she was standing in the edge of the water alone. She began to walk slowly into the water, and I was cringing, looking around for someone close to her to go to her side, and before I could spot someone, she cannonballed, on purpose, into the water, with nothing but sheer delight on her face. She never said a word in the dream.
2017 has been riddled with difficulties for me, beginning in January with my DVT diagnosis. I am not under a doctor’s care and have been told to go on with my life, but the evidence of this clot is still here. I wore my black riding boots the other day, and on the right side, I can fit a few fingers in next to my leg, but I can’t on the left. I wonder how this will affect me when I’m older. I think, “Will this be the way that I die?”
It seems like it was so long ago, but there began the downward spiral of my Grandmother’s demise. In real life, she had become quiet. I recall the last normal day I saw her was Mother’s Day. She was at the assisted living facility, eating on her own, and she told me how skinny I was. I still feel like we killed her. I have read so much about hospice care, and I have tried to reconcile this process in my head, but ultimately and simply put, she was drugged until her demise. I can’t bear the thought of it. Twenty one days, she survived, before she finally let go. How incredible. How sad.
I feel like I have been asleep, and the joke is on me. Macy’s been missing turning in work at school, and apparently, it’s been going on since the beginning of the school year, but no one bothered to tell me, until two weeks ago. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I hate being put in positions where I have no control or say in what happens, and this situation is no exception. She’s only in second grade, but I have felt the worst feeling of failure over this. It’s like the recurring dream I have of being back in college at Chapel Hill and discovering that I was enrolled in a class that I didn’t know about and hadn’t been going to. I am a control freak, so this is my worst nightmare. I feel like I have been rendered powerless and useless, and when I took full responsibility for the situation and asked to make up the work, I was told no. I am heartbroken over this.
These series of unfortunate events have led me to this very moment in my life. The girls are playing in the living room now. Otara is still snoozing, and I’m thinking of all the things I have to get done today that I didn’t get done yesterday, because I litterally laid in bed all day, all night. I realize that in the midst of this mess, I, and my family, are blessed. Just three days ago, Otara talked to one of his friends who is now in the hospital recovering from a massive stroke. He has lost use of one side and cannot speak. We never know what is next for us.
I really love Christmas and all the activities that go along with it, and I am trying to focus on the reason for the season and not feel so stressed about all the epic failures I have managed to achieve this year. I am working on so much, but it seems like I still have too many irons in the fire, leaving the important ones in waiting. I explained my feelings to my mom last week. “Is this normal?” “Welcome to motherhood,” she said. “This is the rest of your life.”