Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ninety-Four Years.

We're 36 hours from our first big home study visit. THE visit. And my concerns are limited to making sure that dirty clothes are picked up and that there is no food lingering under the counter top. I haven't given any thought to the giant questionnaire that we are to fill out. I haven't read past the second question. I'm not at all concerned with the yard or the kids' rooms. I couldn't care less that a shelf in Miriam's closet fell down yesterday, leaving several holes in her wall and a pile of clothes in her closet floor.

I lost my grandma on Sunday. She was 94 years old. 

She came into this world as the first world war was ending and spent nearly a century watching, working, learning, and loving. She grew up with very little but happy to share it. Her teenage years were lived during the Great Depression but weren't so depressing. She learned to work hard, to save and to support her neighbors and family. 

She married and dove into homemaking with determination and love. She raised five children in a four room house. Those five children married. My grandma rocked thirteen grandbabies, twenty-six great-grandbabies, and three great-great-grandbabies. My grandma loved to rock babies. 

When J was little, Grandma invited her for sleepovers. My grandma was always ready to send "cookies for the road" with Noah. When she moved into my mother's house, Miriam would snuggle up with Grandma and talk about all sorts of things. My grandma called her sister nearly every day. She was grateful for her family. She loved. And I loved her. 

Ninety-four years is a long time to live on this earth, and Grandma told me many times that she'd had a good, long life. Still, it shocked me to lose her. I wasn't done listening to her wisdom, appreciating her sympathetic glance toward me when Noah and Miriam were bickering, and watching her love on my kids. I hadn't told her about the possibility of our adoption. What I wouldn't give to hear her thoughts...

The funeral was today. It was beautiful, and just what she would've wanted. 

Every day this week has seen me cry, trying to juggle mommying and grieving and failing miserably in my attempts. 
All I want to do now is stop and breathe. 

But there are tasks to tend to. Paperwork. Check-lists. Cleaning. Children to care for. No time for dwelling. No time to recoup. No time to catch my breath. There were moments this week where I was sure I wouldn't be able to keep our meeting. The one that couldn't be pushed back any further than Friday. 

When sharing about parenting and life Grandma told me so often and so simply,

"Kelley, you've gotta do what you've gotta do." 

No use worrying or whining about it. Just start in and tackle the jobs one at a time. 

Friday will come, and when our home is studied, clutter will be found inside, weeds outside. BUT what will also be found here is the legacy that my grandmother left. A family who values hard work, lives dedicated to each other, and loves simply.

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