The last few months have, by far, been the hardest of my life.
Less than two weeks after my last post, on May 18 my sweet baby girl Lexie got her angel wings.
It was a long, painful journey with my sweet little girl, but I have found peace in knowing that she is no longer suffering. I had a wonderful support system, particularly my mom and my two best friends who were there every step of the way and whose hearts broke with mine. My greatest concern was how my other dog, Beamer, would handle the loss. Luckily both Lexie and Beamer, while they were best buds, were also very independent of each other so he has seemed pretty ok through it all.
Less than a month later, on June 14 my grandmother had a stroke. Nothing serious or life threatening, so we thought. She would just need to spend some time in rehabilitation, like after most strokes. But, just over a month after losing Lexie, on June 29, my grandma joined her. I can't even begin to express the loss of my grandmother. The world truly has become a little bit darker since her sparkle has dimmed. She was an absolutely wonderful person who I take pride in being so much like. She was one of my very best friends and I have found myself in a very dark place since loosing her. We all know that one day everyones time here on earth will come to an end, some sooner than others, and we certainly know that one day we will say goodbye to our grandparents, but I really wasn't ready. Most people say that after a loss, time is the only thing that heals. For me though, time has made things worse. For each new thing that I have experienced and wanted to share with her, the sting has been a little stronger. For example, I just got back from an awesome trip to Canada. When I booked the trip, both Lexie and my grandmother were still here. My grandma was so excited for the trip, her being quite the travel guru. Arriving back home had this sting that I can't explain. I never got a chance to call her and tell her all about my trip, like was so customary on any others I'd been on.
My grandma truly was the most wonderful woman and, referring to her in the past tense is yet another thing that stings but I know that she lived a wonderful life and she wouldn't want me to be sad. And I know this because when putting things together for her memorial service, my cousin stumbled upon this document on her computer:
"Please do not grieve for me as my journey has been so full and so fulfilling. I realized more victories than defeats and more joys than sorrows. My friends and family were always there for me. I have shed my share of tears but also more than my share of laughter. I have but three grandchildren, Shea, Austin and McKenzie but they have made my heart full of joy, they are my pride and joy.
I will never really be far away as long as I remain in your hearts as you will mine. I have such dear family and friends that have preceded me and I look forward to renewing old times with them.
We all must take this journey when it is our time and we should go not in fear but with trust in God's judgment of our departure time.
Thank you all for being a part of this wonderful adventure that I have had the privilege to experience. To my beloved family, I will close with a poem written by a dear friend of mine's brother it just about says it all.
'When I come to the end of the day and the sun has set on me -
I want no rites in a gloom filled room, Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not too long and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love we once shared - MISS ME BUT LET ME GO
For this is a journey we all must take and each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Maker's plan, A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart, Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds - Miss me, but let me go.'
Please go in joy and peace and make your life as memorable as I did mine.
Until we meet again, I wish you enough."
"I wish you enough" was a phrase that she really liked, meaning, enough love, enough laughter, basically enough of everything to make your life a good one. Finding that on her computer was so bittersweet because it was nice to have some words from her, but also a little heartbreaking that she seemed to have written that knowing her time was almost up. I am so extraordinarily lucky to have had the honor and pleasure of knowing and loving such a wonderful woman and role model. I hope to make the kind of impact on this world that she did and one day, if I'm lucky, I hope I get a chance to be even half the grandmother that I was lucky enough to have.
A couple of quotes that I found and really liked:
“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
― Anne Lamott
“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
― John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
I know this was not a fun upbeat blog post but, like my friend Danica said, it's something good to do, both as a way to get it out but also as a way to remember and look back on, as painful as it might be, it IS something that happened and, likely something that will mold and shape me.
I'm a lucky girl that I have these two beautiful ladies as my guardian angels and have hope that one day I'll be able to see them both again and see Lexie's wagging tail and hear my grandma's infectious laugh.