Friday, December 19, 2008

21 Years

21 years ago, my friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was scared. She was unsure of her future. She was 17.

This girl has grown up to be the sweetest {but not too sweet}, nicest {but not too nice}, most fun {but not too fun} girl I know. She is in university, set on her dream of becoming a teacher. She has made friends from all over the world. She is beautiful ~ inside & out, & I'm so pleased that I have known her for her whole life.

21 years ago, my grandmother died. She was sick. She had cancer. After the first operation when they removed a tumour the size of a football from her abdomen, the cancer returned at a gallop. The tumour was soon replaced with another.

My grandmother was the first reality check in my life. She insisted on good behaviour, good manners, & got them. She disapproved of drinking, smoking, & gambling {sorry, Grandma}. She lived a hard life, never had much money, but raised 8 children & raised them well. She survived not only the depression & a life of struggle, but also losing her youngest child to murder ~ not always with a smile on her face, but with that famous British "stiff upper lip" & sheer stubbornness.

I was 16 that day, 21 years ago. Too young to be dealing with my friend giving birth. Too young to be dealing with death. I was 8 days into a new relationship {Mr. Puffy Kracker} & full of hormones, emotional issues, & highstrung.

I did not behave well at the funeral. I was too young to realize that laughter comes even through grief, that you can be sad but you don't have to ONLY be sad. I was too unschooled in loss to know that it's okay to remember good times & bad, that laughter & tears can be friends. I look back at my self-centered grief & cringe, just a little. I look back & thank my family for their forbearance & patience.

I look back & realize that this event may have a large hand in how I feel at Christmas time. & I know that if Grandma knew I was still weeping on this day, 21 years later, she'd give me such a look.

This day will always be a day of celebration & sorrow. I'm just waiting for the day that sorrow takes the back seat.


Fairy Mae said...

I am with you. It is my Gramas birthday today and she passed away in 2003. Ya, I hear you...xoxo

Queen of Halloween said...

I still grieve for the ones that I too have lost and understand the pain you feel...hang in there kiddo. Never appoligize for your sorrow...the ones that love you understand. xoxo

Anonymous said...

beautifully written. i cant believe it has been that long ago.

Poopsie aka Blue said...

I'm sorry I'm late reading this Wilma.

It brought a tear to my eye.
Take care my friend