A year ago today, I had a big belly. I was 38 weeks pregnant with Alice. I love 38 weeks. 38 weeks is happy and bittersweet and full of promise. 38 weeks means it could be another week or two, but it probably won't be much longer than that.
A year ago today, I was feeling proud of myself, nervous for the future, ready for the next chapter. I was parenting a 19 month old (easy peasy, sorry, but it is) and felt like I had a handle on everything. I made healthy lunches from the produce I had delivered from organic local farms. I was out and about, taking Clark to the zoo and the State Fair. I was full of energy. My house was clean. I was blissed out and proud. It's so funny how much credit we give ourselves for having our act together (during the very brief periods of havingacttogetherness) when so much of it is circumstance. And God.
Today my kids had Jimmy Dean's microwavable sausage biscuits for lunch.
Yes, both kids. Even the baby.
I ate the cold leftovers with soapy hands that had been scrubbing food from the walls throughout lunch time.
Today I cried a lot. More than a lot.
I made my kids take two naps even though Clark generally takes zero naps. I cleaned the house not because I fancy myself to be a terrific housekeeper, but because it distracted me from the crying.
My grandpa is really sick. Really sick. Since his final clear-cut diagnosis of ALS in January, he has gone downhill rapidly. ALS is totally horrifying. Papa is now almost entirely paralyzed. He can't move his legs or arms or hands or feet. He weighs less than I do. His speech is deteriorating. His breathing is getting worse. Yet his brain is totally normal and aware.
His hospice nurse says it will be days. Maybe a week. Possibly two weeks. Probably not much longer than that.
I used to have nightmares when I was in elementary school about losing my grandparents. I would wake up and find my pillow soaking wet because I had been sobbing in my sleep. I still feel like that.
I am wrestling constantly with the idea that he needs to pass out of his physical body, a body that has turned on him and imprisoned him and the fact that death means I won't get to see him anymore. At least not for awhile.
My grandpa is the one person in the whole world that I have always wanted to please. To impress. I'm not going to lie-- he adores me. I'm his girl. I want to be the version of myself he sees.
I remember once when I was about 10 Papa asked me to sing "Hopelessly Devoted To You" for his buddy who was visiting. My grandpa was a life long pianist and organist. He just wanted to show off my little wavering wannabe-a-Broadway-star ten year old voice as he accompanied me. Can I tell you something? There is not a thing in the world I wanted to do less than sing "Hopelessly Devoted To You" for my grandpa's friend, a stranger. But I totally did it. Because Papa asked me to. You know?
And if he asked me tomorrow to sing it again? I would. I would sing it so loud.