Christmas goes by faster and faster every year. It’s really scary to me actually. My body though is finally just now feeling all of the past week’s business. I really want to take an Advil PM and head up to bed, but I have to drive my parents up to the airport at 5am. They’re going to Las Vegas for my uncles wedding (Dad’s brother). I am the only one out of my dad’s family not going and not invited. Long story…
I love Christmas. I love spending time with family. We had Christmas at our house again this year and even though the week leading up to today felt like hell at times, when it finally came however, it’s the best in the world!
When I was growing up, we celebrated all the holidays at “The Lake”. The Lake is my safe haven. It’s my most favorite place to be. Let me tell you about this wonderful place. “The Lake” is the house I spent my childhood growing into the person I am today. My grandparents bought the cabin when my mom and her siblings were growing up.
During the summer time, my moms family would live out at the lake. That’s how my mom met my dad. My dad’s family had the cabin next door. Once everyone grew up and was out of the houses, both sets of my grandparents moved into the their cabins and lived on the lake full time. While I was growing up, it was awesome having both sets of grandparents living right next door to each other. What was also awesome was my great grandma lived right next door as well! (After she died though my Uncle (mom’s brother) moved in, and has lived there ever since.) When the property became too much work, my dad’s parents sold the cabin and moved into town. My aunt now lives in the cabin full time, but my whole family owns a part of it.
If you’ve ever lost a family member or even someone you’ve been close to, you will understand the pain of these next paragraphs. My Grandma was diagnosed with brain, lung, and bone cancer and was not doing well for a long time. She was a fighter though and didn’t give up. When the doctors said there was nothing more to be done, we brought her home per her wishes, so she could die in peace at the lake. I remember the day she died like it was just yesterday… It was the last weeks of summer vacation. My mom and dad wanted me to have fun so they let me go to my friends cabin with her family for the long weekend. I remember waking up that day just feeling kinda funny; something just didn’t feel right. I tried to go about the day as normal as I could, but in the afternoon I decided I just needed to take a nap. I dreamt I was at the lake with my grandma. We were outside by her garden talking and laughing and she wasn’t in pain and she was actually able to be outside. The next thing I knew, my friend was waking me up to hand me the phone. It was my mom telling me that my grandma had passed away. Just typing this out now is making all of those same emotions come flooding back… I didn’t want to believe what she was saying, but then I remembered my dream, and knew it was her way of saying goodbye. My whole family was with her when she passed. A month after her funeral, I remember being out at the lake and my family talking about a ketchup bottle that was in the fridge. It was a heinz bottle (she hated heinz) and everyone was freaking out. I remember looking at my grandpa and seeing for the first time, sadness. He wasn’t the same Bapa I’ve always known. He didn’t have the glow or spark anymore. I walked out of the house and went to my grandma’s garden, sat down and cried.
Two months later, I was sitting in my Speech class. We were getting ready to go work on our speeches in the media center when I was called down to the office. Thinking there was a note for me down there I went down with some friends. As I was walking, I noticed my godmother standing there. I looked down the hall and saw my cousin walking towards us. Not at all knowing now what was going on, I asked her what was wrong. She wouldn’t look at us and only said, “get in the car.” We got in the car and she drove us to the Emergency Room parking lot. She told us to get out and walked us inside. My heart stopped when I walked in and saw my family standing there crying. I didn’t know what was happening. My mom and aunts ran over to me and told me that my grandpa had died. Again, I can’t even type without crying. I felt my whole world just caving in… I ran out of the building and ran down the street. I worked at the nursing home a block away and just kept running until I ended up there. I ran inside looking for a co-worker to confide in… That’s when I broke down. I cried like a fool not caring at all what I looked like, I just couldn’t be in the hospital where my family was.
My grandpa died of a broken heart. My two aunts were with him when it happened. They were sitting around the table laughing and joking around and making breakfast. He got up to go to the bathroom, and when he walked into the bathroom, collapsed and died.
You must be thinking, “how can the lake be your favorite place in the whole world when two of the people you love most in this world, died there?” I love it because I feel closest to them there. I was a grandma and grandpa’s girl. I was Oma’s “honey” and Bapa’s “bumblebee”. I was wrapped around their fingers from the day I was born. So when I’m out there, I feel their presence all around.
I named this post Remembrance for the sole purpose of this… There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my grandparents and how much I truly miss them. Holidays are especially hard because it’s the ones you love you want to be with. I wish they were still here, but I know they are both looking down on all of us and smiling. I wish every day that they could be here to see me take this weight loss journey. I know they would stand behind me and my Oma would say, “You can do it, Honey. I’m so proud of you!” and my Bapa would be right there saying, “Aye!” and giving me high fives. Those thoughts keep me going.
Thanks for all you’ve taught me Oma and Bapa, and for always being here when I need someone to talk to. Miss you! ❤