Thursday, September 16, 2010


When someone old dies, we don't grieve so much for all the things they weren't able to do. We are glad that there is no longer pain and the chronic irritations of an aging body. We are glad that they are with their loved ones who have gone on before. SO glad that they are finally at rest.

When someone old dies, I think the grief is more about what wasn't done. All the "I love yous" never spoken, all the time never spent, all the cards never written, the phone calls never made.

I've pulled my head out of the sand of my PND and have discovered someone that I loved very much is gone. I ache for all the things undone. The photo book I had in mind to make... undone. Now it will never be seen by the eyes it was meant for... All the phone calls I never made. I didn't say I love you enough. I didn't go to Chicago while I was in the states. He will never see my babies in person... because I took for granted my time. I selfishly left people who have loved and cared for me, unconsidered.

I will not be able to hear "Yallo" when I call. Grandpa's tired and tremulous voice will no longer be there. The way he called my Grandma "Soph" although her name was Jean. There is no one to call me "peanut" or sing silly little songs to me.

He was truly a good man, and I look forward to running with him again. someday.
But right now, I am just so sorry.

I'm so sorry. I really am, really sorry. I wish...oh how I wish I could change things.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Being an American in Australia was a relatively painless transition. I had a few months of culture shock, and will always be a little on the "outside" but only a little. But yesterday I was reminded how truly far away from "home" I am. My grandfather died. He's the only one I had, and now he's gone. I feel each mile that separates me from the family that knew him. I desperately wish I could be there to cry with them and swap stories. I am alone in this country, and feeling, for the first time really, my foreignness.

Goodbye Grandpa. I am so sad you are not in this world anymore. But I am thankful that you can finally rest. Your days of dreaded physio are over. No more worrying about sugars and steps. No more having to navigate the world with a cane or in a wheel chair. I loved you... although not very well. I'm sorry I took for granted your final days.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Points of Gracious Humanity

I recently traveled back to the US with my 3 little guys. Along with me, was my intrepid teenage helper, Jane, who helped entertain the kids during the 24 hours of travel to and fro. There are so many stories I could tell from our trip, the thorough unhelpfulness of United, the amazing feeling of coming "home" to summer and family, the opening up of the spirit in the wide skies of CO, etc etc, but I decided to write about the 4 people who truly shined on our trip.

Jane and I were outnumbered from the get-go. That we knew already. So she would shepherd and herd the older two while I fumbled boarding passes and passports with Asher in the front carrier. All was well until we got on board. The older two fell to sleep a few hours into the flight and slept for a good long bit, but the baby, who struggles to sleep unless conditions are right, struggled to sleep, as conditions weren't right. The floor bassinet provided was conveniently made too large to put on the floor. Asher doesn't sleep very well being held. He was becoming more and more miserable as he was WAY overtired, and I was in tears as I was over-tired too. About 6 hours in, I was fighting rising panic that he wasn't going to sleep at all... At some point in my delirium Ken and Bess sitting catty-corner to me offered to hold Asher for a bit. I gladly accepted. I rested my arms and shoulders... for 6 hours. I glanced back again and again to see Bess holding him gazing down as mother's do. I kept asking if they wanted to hand him over, and they consistently declined. Even after 6 hours, as we were heading towards descent, they seemed reluctant to hand him over. Asher slept the whole time, and I was even able to rest a bit. God Bless you, Bess!
Our time in CO went fast and wonderfully. We played in the sun and the kids wore next to nothing and played in my parent's fountain. It was great. But I lived in terror of the return journey, dreading, once again not being in a bassinet row, and dealing with the money grubbing United Airlines.

True to form, United was not helpful once again, but we sat next to Sonya from Denver to LA. She asked to hold Asher, and was so friendly the kids were lining up to talk to her. We exchanged information after the flight and I have heard from her since.

Our La to Melbourne besty, was Jenny. She listened as the kids jabbered away at her from between their seats. She chatted back to them. Leif was excited that she didn't have to be a stranger anymore.

Perhaps if United had been more helpful, or if we had had more comfortable seats, those people would not have shone so brightly. They generously touched our lives and I will be forever grateful that, instead of running scared, they jumped in the foray with us, and made the trips bearable. Despite everything, they left us with good memories of a difficult time.