Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On grandmas and thanksgiving

My grandmother was the greatest woman in the world. Seriously. She was a saint and wonderfully loving and funny as hell. She passed away when I was 8, but I still cry when I think about the fact that she’s not here—that she didn’t get to see me graduate, even from 8th grade. I still remember, the day before she died, even though she was feeling crappy (crappier than any of us knew at the time), she made my grandfather drive her an hour to come watch me at one of my swim meets. I mean, how wonderful is that? I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a swim meet, but for a spectator, it’s fantastically boring. I swam probably two events for a total of about a minute and a half. But she came. To support me.

Damnit. Crying again…

Anyhow, the point is, my grandmother, even though she was only around for a short period of my life, had a profound impact on it in so many ways.*

And, one of the things that she always used to tell me was “don’t wish your life away.” At 8 I can’t imagine what I was wishing—maybe to turn a year older, or for Christmas to come—but she always made a point of telling me that all of those things I wished for would come eventually (though they wouldn't always look like what I thought), but that I’d be sad if I spent my life's journey just wishing away my time and not enjoying what I had. (I'm paraphrasing, of course, and I do realize it's not a unique idea, but still...)

Because I still can hear her voice telling me that almost 24 years later, I do really try not to wish things away. Before I met hubby, for example, even though I knew I always wanted to find the right guy and get married someday, I didn't spend my time wishing I was married. I just tried to enjoy my carefree 20s and all it brought with it.

And when we first started trying to have a baby, I tried to do the same--tried to enjoy the "last" holiday without kids, or the "last vacation" where it was just the two of us. (Needless to say, that attitude didn’t last...and those "lasts" were anything but...)

But now that I’m pregnant (still hard to believe I can say that), I realize that I’m doing exactly what grandma advised against—I’m wishing away this pregnancy. I find myself looking at the calendar, no matter how far along I am, and seeing nothing but the weeks that stretch out before me and wishing they would go by more quickly.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my grandma, though, and remembering her sage advice and I’m realizing that (assuming everything goes according to plan and god-willing), this is going to be over before I know it, and that I'll never be able to get it back. And I'm at risk of wishing away all of the miraculous moments that I spent so many months/years of infertility wishing for. Like the stickies’ movements, which are getting stronger by the day and which hubby can now feel from the outside. (How wild is that?!) Or hearing the fabulous little heartbeats at each of my doctor’s visits. Or seeing the stickies on the ultrasounds. Or getting the stickies their first stuffed animals.

So, in this belated Thanksgiving post, I want to make sure I’m taking the time to be thankful for what we’ve been blessed with. For the stickies (extra fingers and all). For this pregnancy, which seems to be going okay. For having the greatest hubby in the world. For this blogging community which, even though I find myself a bit mute and lost between infertility and pregnancy doesn’t let me forget that you’re pulling for me and thinking of me. (And I can’t tell you how much that means.)

But most of all, I’m thankful for the 8 years I had with my grandma as she took care of me when my mom went back to work full time. And here’s to trying to live up to the wisdom of the advice she gave me more than 24 years ago.

* I could tell so many funny and heartwarming stories about my grandma, but one thing that always makes me laugh now is how I remember her. Since she passed away when I was 8, she was much taller than I was at the time, so that's how I picture her. But, in reality, she was barely 4’11”….and I’m 5’10”. Oh how memory can play with reality!


Sarah said...

what a great post and wonderful tribute to your grandma. i'm so relating to this now too, because i'm trying to savor every moment with my tiny baby. she changes so fast and i just know its all go to fly by like a lovely but fleeting dream.

Waiting Amy said...

Such sweet sentiments. I was lucky enough to have my Mom-mom until I was married. But I still miss her deeply.

I think it is okay to be eager for what is to come. But definitely enjoy those movements of the stickies while they are there!

Thanks for stopping by to support me, it means a lot. :)

JJ said...

I am guilty of wanting to SPEED up time too--its so hard to NOT want to wish this part of life away, when you want to be a parent so badly.
But thank you and thanks to your grandmother for the reminder I often need!
Glad you can remember your grandmother in a special way, and enjoy the rest of the time with your little ones growing inside!

Diana said...

That is very sweet, I am lucky enough to have a grandma still but I think of the other one all the time.

Becks said...

That was a lovely post, you had tears in my eyes too.

We do have to make the most of today, hope you enjoy the rest of the 'bump' time.

Lori said...

I'm here today from Ms Planner.

This is a very touching post. Such a generational thread running through!

It is very hard to just be where you are. I'm working on a post about this right now, which will be put up on Sunday.

Thanks for sharing your sentiments about your Grandma :-).

anna said...

I find myself reminiscing about family members who are gone and truly valuing the ones who are still around during this pregnancy too! Maybe it's the prospect of impending motherhood that has us both so sentimental.
And like you, I have also tried to wish away as quickly as possible all these splendid and not so splendid pregnancy moments. How often your posts echo my thoughts...thanks!