Monday, September 14, 2009

Disposable Grandparenting

With the death of my two beloved cats this weekend, by the time we got home from the emergency vet last night I knew I had crossed a line. I was not going to be capable of working today. So I called and left a message on the boss' voicemail, which she will have found about 4 this morning, that I had a personal emergency this weekend and needed to take a personal day. The therapist/addiction counselor didn't have anything for anyone else.

We were up very late last night as Cameron dugevening a grave in the late by the light of a lantern. I couldn't even bring myself to go out and bless the grave. Thor was very precious to me -- one of the blessed special cats that in a house of wonderful cats managed to stand out clearly. I was grieving, am grieving, hard.

So I slept late, unable to force myself out of bed. I needed to be doing all the things I skipped over the weekend because we had so much going on. Instead, I lay in the bed, unable to move. I finally managed to get moving, researched homeopathic ways to deal with a flea infestation, and then got to work on the house. I started with clearing and cleaning the altar, setting up the peace/harmony/balancing candle in hope of orchestrating a little internal peace or balance. I worked at laundry and other mundane chores, and finally went to take a much needed nap. My therapist called -- I had forgotten my appointment. So bless her heart, my therapist spent the next 50 minutes putting me back together. I was doing pretty good by the time we got off the phone.

She asked me about what lessons or gifts the cats had brought to my life. Bubbles was easy. She brought the gift of joy. Thor was tougher. I finally came to the conclusion he brought the gift of trust. Knowing who to trust. Learning how to trust. Learning to let go of fear. I talked about Thor reaching back to the time when the boys came to live with me, and being with me when it all came down around my ears. Thor was also about mourning lost dreams of parenting.

So I missed my nap. A few minutes later I was on the phone with Cameron when my daughter-in-law called. The Patient One began as if I already had information that had never been given to me. I suppose people who are actually invited to see my grandson would notice the obvious -- that at 6 months old he is the size of a three month old. Of course, since I am not really treated like a grandparent and do not have any rights to see my grandchildren, I could not necessarily notice from Internet photographs. So while I am trying to grasp this rather alarming news, which The Patient One treats as old news, she begins asking about a family history of cystic fibrosis. Of course I deny any such family history. Between us lies my true crime. Since I was nineteen, in Atlanta, and had a one night stand with my son's biological father, it's all my fault that there might be a family history of cystic fibrosis of which I did not, could not, apprise them of. Not yet grasping the true concern behind her words yet, I listen to my daughter-in-law talk about her mother offering to come out from Missouri to help. She talks about Marcus taking off work tomorrow to watch Beauty while she takes the baby to the hospital for more blood tests. I remind her we are only a few hours away, and although things are strained, I would be glad to come to help. She does not answer.

As I sit hear writing these words, a little part of my soul dies. Some part of me has hoped for reconciliation with my judgemental, foolish Marine son and his beautiful little family. Surely my grandchildren are worth whatever price I must pay to be in their lives--I have lived by that thought. I suppose it is time to give up and to let go. If my Marine son could not forgive me being wiccan or gay, he certainly will never forgive his unknown heritage. Obviously, to him it is my fault his son has physical problems.


  1. My deepest sympathy! It's been a hard week for you. I sense much pain. I send you loving thoughts.

  2. Helluva week Mei Mei (little sister)My thoughts and prayers are with y'all.