Overcoming Inertia

Yesterday was the first day I really had a chance to take a breather and make an assessment of where exactly I was in handling my responsibilities at home, since our lives got a bit hectic last month.

A quick recap...my grandfather was in a health decline and eventually passed away. It was not even a week later that my mother got very sick and ended up in the emergency room. 20 days later, she was discharged after suffering a terrible bloodstream infection, severe pain from having pleurisy and surviving major heart surgery. It's only been three days since she was released and now all of us are just getting back to our lives, still trying to recuperate from the stresses of the past month and finding a new normal.

So yesterday I came to my computer to pay my bills and when the screen came up, the eulogy my son wrote for my grandfather's funeral was still up on the screen. He was making some revisions to it before we left for the funeral, a few weeks ago, and I hadn't touched my computer since. I figured that something had to be done to bring some freshness into our lives here at home. To make movement. To go forward. As always, one of the most enjoyable things I get to do with my life, among other things, is work on this blog and do my family history research – so I decided that this is what would help me to become “unstuck”.

When my grandmother passed away, two years ago, it was a year after my grandfathers massive stroke. Although he eventually regained some of his strength, he had been in such bad shape after his stroke that it would've made more sense for him to go first. My grandmothers passing came like a thief in the night, and where all of us had already cracked from the stresses of the previous year, the pain of her death further broke us down into tiny little pieces. As for me, although I despise being typical, I admit that it took a long time to cycle through all of the five stages of grief and I lingered, a great while, in some longer than others.

My grandparents were so deeply, so completely and so utterly in love. They could never stand to be apart. When together, they were constantly holding hands, reminiscing about how they met or taking naps together in their recliner. These two years, since my grandmother passed, it was so hard to see my grandfather there alone, without his babe (which is what he called her). Now that I have some time to refocus and get back on track with things, I can't help feeling like something is missing in my life. I thought that maybe it was because my grandfather was now gone or that maybe because my mothers life will never be the same after having heart surgery – but I realized that what is missing is that cloud of sadness I had, from knowing my grandparents were apart and there was nothing anyone could do about it. This cloud consumed me for the better part of the past two years. It's strange to realize just how much sadness becomes a part of you, how it sticks to you, surrounds you and in some ways comforts and protects you. It's also a very strange physical sensation when you notice that its gone. I am amazed by the lightness that exists where there used to be such a heavy oppression bearing down on me.

We had a 3 day vigil at my grandfathers bedside before he passed and it was when everyone left to eat that he began to transition. Luckily, there were still some family members that stayed in the room with him and when they saw he was starting to go, my sister said to him, “Go find grandma” and he lifted his head and his face lit up into a huge smile and a few moments later he was gone. Knowing that his “babe” was there to greet him on the other side, made this incredible loss a bit more bearable.

I think I spent so much time lingering in my grief, after my grandmother passed, that I have no need for it this time around. This blog was birthed out of my grief and sometimes it was so difficult to work on because of that – I wasn't ready to share the one thing that was bringing me the most comfort because I still needed it, I still relied on it. It was only today that I sent a link to this website with my own sister.

Somehow, in all the hecticness, I was able to gather some things to share at my grandfathers Rosary. I had spent many hours interviewing my grandfather on his experience being a Prisoner of War in Pomerania during World War II. I have books, newspaper clippings, his Army Air Corps and German Prison Camp dogs tags, and other relics, that I put on display at his Rosary. I also typed up a brief history for others to read. My grandfather had earned a Purple Heart from his injuries during World War II, the plane he served as a tail gunner on (a B17 Flying Fortress) was shot down, he was captured and imprisoned by the Germans for 8 months and spent 86 grueling days on the 600 mile Death March – but some family members, that had known my grandfather for over 40 years, never knew these things about him. He didn't want to talk about these experiences for decades, before he was willing to share them with me. I always felt grateful to have that time with my grandparents, when I'd sit there having coffee with them and interview them after our usual breakfast of my grandma's most heavenly cheese-covered potatoes. Now I see the magnitude of that wonderful gift they both gave me, of sharing so much with me. It motivates me to commit more time to this blog, to actually share it with my friends and family members, and continue digging away at the research.

I neglected this blog so much this past year and many times, when I was asked if I was going to continue working on it, I would make quick inconsequential posts to bide my time until I felt more focused and devoted to the time it takes to organize information and type things out. Now that I have a lightness and a sense of “something missing”, I have this positive and enjoyable hobby to replace it with, so I'll be seeing you here more often.

I hope you're ready for the holidays because they're a-comin'! I'm definitely looking forward to this holiday season and to making more memories with the people I love.

Happy researching!

© 2017 Harvesting Pinons, A.M. ~ All Rights Reserved