So many feelings have been fumbling around my heart. I have been surprised how profoundly Granny's death has affected me. She and I have been in each others lives since 1966. That is a long time. At the beginning of our relationship, I was a very young eighteen year old nursing student. I was naive girl. I was unaware of the impact I was probably having on her life. All I thought about was myself. In time I fell in love with her son. We married and had children of our own. I now know how I changed her life. I did not know how to share. She did not either. But, as time went on, we were forced to reinvent our relationship. Her son and I divorced. She wanted her grandsons to remain in her life, and I did too. We were actually more understanding of each other once my marriage was over. Once before I was to have surgery, when my teenage boys came home from a visit with her, they tossed a note to me from Granny. She told me she had been praying for me and wanting my fear of surgery to be eased. I have the letter still. As I have grown older, and my sons have found the loves of their lives, I understand how she must have felt. It is a part of life to have your babies grow up and leave. They find someone to replace you. It is something you have known was going to happen and you accept it, and find your heart opening up to embrace them. In thinking back now, I think I did not let myself get into her heart. I wanted to be there, but, not until I am now a wise woman, do I realize that sometime between then and now, we got into each other's heart. I had to grow up first. I am so glad I got to visit with her in the last weeks of her life, or I do not think I could bear it now. Her death has affected me in ways I could not have imagined. I know I may never see some of my brother-in-laws again. I may never see their children again. It is not morbid thinking. It is just the reality of our busy lives.
I was at her visitation, and funeral. I had so many feelings. I felt a part of the family. I felt like an outsider, too. I saw old friends of Granny's and was able to reminisce with them about the old days. Then when seeing all the pictures of her life I realized I was not in any of them. Time had moved on and her grandchildren grew up and had children of their own, and I was no longer a part of that family. It was strange how my children, who are the closest people to me in my life, have a whole lot of family memories that I have not been a part of. That is the way it is. It is not thought of every day of our life, but, when a person leaves our life, we think about all of these raw feelings.
She was a big part of my life. She was the mother of my husband. Even though marriages do not work out, it does not mean you no longer have feelings for someone. I have found that out in a big way this past week. I am so glad she was in my life.
I will miss her. I know her sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will too. But, I know her daughter-in-laws, and grand-daughter-in-laws will too.