The last ten months have been the most difficult months I have faced in a while. More specifically, the last four months have been, well, a living hell. The other day, I poured my heart out to someone in an e-mail. I didn’t actually intend to do that; it just sort of happened that as I typed what was supposed to be a simple correspondence, the pain and sadness came spilling out onto my computer keyboard. It was almost surreal as I maneuvered my mouse over the “Send” icon. As I watched the little arrow move on my phone, indicating that my very emotional and heartfelt e-mail was at that very moment flying through the mysterious world of cyberspace, I regretted for a moment sending an e-mail that brought fresh tears as I typed. You see, just an hour or so before sending my emotional plea through cyberspace, I had sat in my chair at home, trying to prepare myself for a day of work. I looked up at the wall in front of me and the all too familiar pain stabbed at my heart again as I looked for a long moment at the picture of my beautiful grandson that hangs next to his mommy’s from her senior year of high school. I felt the breaking of my heart all over again. My arms ached to hold him even if just for a little while. Their longing to hold him could not be satisfied, though. He is much too far away for this grammy to snatch him up in a big snuggle.
Four months. It has been four months since they packed up their belongings in a big moving truck and headed 600 miles or so west to begin a life there. And all I could think of was Mother’s Day, almost twenty years ago, when our family of six packed up a big moving truck and headed 1,000 miles west to begin a new life in a new state. I didn’t understand then how much my own mom’s heart broke that day. I do now–I understand all too well how difficult it was for my mom to say goodbye to her daughter and four precious grandchildren. There are a few differences. My mom had other grandchildren who lived close by. Still, it broke her heart to say goodbye.
I know that now. I know that too well. And I think that maybe this isn’t just coincidence. I think that somehow, the fact that I am feeling the intense pain of losing my one and only grandson to a different state, is somehow deserved punishment for putting my own mom through the same pain. Regardless of whether that is true or not, there is one fact I am coming to believe will always be–that is the fact that this broken heart will probably never completely heal. The pain may lessen at times as the wound scabs over, but a song or a book or a picture will rip that scab off and the bleeding will start all over again. Sometimes I feel as though I am in recovery, and it is going to be a long and painful process. Recovery is going to take conscious effort and lots of time. I’m not convinced it will ever be complete to be honest. Broken hearts don’t always heal correctly. And most people don’t have the stamina to stick with someone who is on a long journey of recovery. Although that adds to the pain, the reality is that I face this, for the most part, alone.
It’s been a long, pain-filled ten months. I have stared death in the face on some very difficult days. The fight is not over yet. Recovery missions seldom take place quickly. I’m doing my part the best I can. I’m protecting my emotional health by not being on Facebook. It has been one of the most positive decisions I have made in these very dark months. It has also revealed to me who my real friends are. People who have taken time to text or call and have made time to try to get together with me–these very few are who I consider my true friends–their number can be counted on the fingers of one hand. I guess that’s okay though. It’s best to be in battle with those you know have your back.