Mixed Up

I’m dreading the upcoming weekend. And I’m looking forward to it. It’s a very mixed up way to feel. It’s Madame’s memorial on Friday. I’m not ready for it – especially since I wasn’t ready to lose her to begin with. On the other hand, I want to have it over with and have some closure. I’m excited to see her family who have become an extension of our family. But Statler & Waldorf will be here for the memorial so I’ll have to manage them. It’s feels like an ocean of emotion that I’m trying to pour into something the size of a Tic Tac case.

We’re taught from an early age that life isn’t fair. I only kind of believed that. It seemed sorta fair. You reap what you sew and all the rest of it. But to my surprise it actually isn’t fair. It’s not fair that she’s gone. It’s not fair that my kids won’t remember her. It’s not fair that she’s missing all of their milestones. It’s not fair she won’t grow old with her sister. It’s not fair.

My grandparents passed shortly after I finished high school. It was really sad. I think of them and their wonderful ways every day. I can’t think of a buffet without seeing Grandma put her leftover chicken in her purse for later. And every time I hear a Russian accent, my breath catches and I strain to see if there’s any Grandpa words that I hear. But they lived full, long lives. Madame should still have another 30 years. She should be at my the kids’ weddings. She should be giving us her steadfast advice. She should be painting. She should be eating my fudge. She should be seeing the latest Harry Potter with me. She should be.

I feel ripped off.

I feel like I wasn’t a good friend at the end. See, she passed many miles away from us, in her hometown. She left for her hometown almost a year ago with the intent of coming back to tie everything up here. But she didn’t make it back. So we relied on the phone to keep in touch and the occasional Skype once we got her hooked up. But her illness was very long. She had good days and bad days, I think a lot of them were good until the last couple of months. We chatted maybe once a week, but then with her hospital stints the time between calls would become longer. The time difference didn’t help me either. By the time the kids were down, it was far too late to call. We emailed. I still have all of the emails. I’m sure I’ll delete them some day. But not today. I feel like I wasn’t there for her like I should have been. A part of me wanted so badly to get on a plane and see her so many times. I could see her head shaking in disapproval for spending money on her. Life happened. Alec’s career is in the driver’s seat and dictates much of our time. We took Emmy to Disneyland to give her something to look forward to at the end of Daddy’s long spring/summer. We had to make the decision. Take the kids to see Madame or take Emmy to Disneyland. By the time Alec had free time and we could’ve made the trip, her health had declined dramatically. We were worried how difficult it would be for Emmy to see her but more-so for how taxing a visit might be on Madame. The last thing we wanted was to be a strain on her. But was it the right decision? I don’t know. There aren’t many people I would fly across country for, but she was one of them. I don’t feel guilt over our decision. But I feel regret. I regret that I failed to acknowledge how soon she would be gone. I regret that I didn’t tell her how much I really, really loved her. But I also know she knew.

Alec’s schedule has picked up again and he will be busy through the end of the year. This gives me a lot of free time, but it’s hardly free. Alone with thoughts while you’re in pain isn’t freeing at all. It’s more like playing emotional roulette. Spin the wheel and see what we’re feeling tonight. When is this part over?

My head and my heart are in constant battle. One tells me to be sensible, that this is a part of the crazy thing we call life and the other just hurts. Hurts that she knew me better than Statler. Hurts that she’s gone. Hurts that our long talks over tea or wine are over. Hurts that we’ll never hug again.

I don’t know what Friday will bring. I know there’s a letter waiting for me. If I don’t read it will there be a chance she’ll come home?

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2 thoughts on “Mixed Up

  1. Thinking of you and Alec all day today. I know how truly dear she was to you… and you were to her. She loved you both, and your little ones, so much. Honour her by living the things she figured out about life in her last couple of years. You are a wonderful friend… she thought so too. May God fill you both with a peace that surpasses all understanding tonight and this day forward. Much love, Jodie

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