As I sit here, trying to find the right words for this post (please bear with me as I stumble my way through this) I am deeply humbled. It’s been a few months since I last spent time writing this blog and I feel like I’ve been a tremendous let down…and yet, you’re still coming here to read. For that, I thank you. I also feel like I owe you an explanation and I’m finally ready to address the elephant in the room.
I’ve been sitting on posts from December. Posts that highlight an amazing trip I took with my family where we spent a couple of weeks enjoying beautiful, sunny Florida. We enjoyed the stunning beaches in Sarasota, spent a few days at a fabulous hotel in Orlando, took our daughter to Disney World for the first time, and witnessed the beauty of marine life at Sea World. You might be wondering why, given all of that, I’ve been unable to finish documenting my journey. Why I haven’t mustered up the courage to hit “publish” on those posts?
On our last day in Florida, tragedy struck in my family. My grandmother had been rushed to the emergency room and wasn’t expected to live. She’d gone in for a knee replacement surgery and had a series of complications that ultimately led to her untimely death. It just doesn’t feel right sharing the details about a fun trip knowing how it ended and I haven’t been ready to share my feelings with all of you until now.
Karen Isabell was a lively spirit. She was funny, she was strong, she cared deeply for others, and now she’s gone. Death is a concept that I struggle with a lot and my grandmother’s passing was (and is) particularly difficult for me to deal with.
The funny thing about life is that we always think that we have more time. More time for hugs, laughter, memories, and love. Those are things I long for more of with my grandma. I wish I could have her back, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to tell her that I love her. I wish I’d had more time so that she could’ve known my daughter more – so that my daughter could have known her. I wish I’d made more of an effort to call on a regular basis. I wish I’d had more time to visit with her. I wish…I wish. I wish she could still be with us.
My grandma and I had a somewhat distant relationship for several years while I was in college. It wasn’t after my daughter was born, when we went back East for a family reunion, that Grandma and I started to get closer. We really bonded on that trip – we had some deep discussions – and for that, I will always be grateful. That was a turning point for us and, from that point on, our relationship was pretty good.
We missed the opportunity to spend time with my grandparents in October since I’d just attended a conference in Atlanta and so we had been talking about the possibility of them coming out to see us this Spring. I was really looking forward to that trip. I was looking forward to spending some quality time with my grandmother, showing her around Kansas City, creating memories, and having the chance for my daughter to get to know her better.
The hardest thing about the finality of death, especially when it’s unexpected like this, is the agonizing desire for more time. I know the only thing I can do is to look back on the memories that I do have and cherish them and so that’s what I’m really trying to do.
If death teaches us anything (which I believe that it does), it’s that love is all that matters. We ought to spend less time in this life worried about trivial matters and more time loving on those around us – because we never know when the opportunity to do so will be gone.
Thanks for sticking with me through this. XoXo