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Archive for April, 2009

Today around 3:30pm, my maternal grandmother passed away.

I am sad, in a way, yes, but I am also relieved that she is free of the pain that she had been feeling.  My grandmother had been having heart problems (erratic heartbeat and other heart-related issues) for the last 10 years, and for the last 2 years, her quality of life was diminished.  She closed herself off from most of the people whom she loved, and led a life that was very lonely.

I know I should be sadder that my grandmother is gone, but I’m not.  It’s complicated.  My grandmother was a bitter woman who had a very difficult life, but who also had a very difficult time showing love to anyone.  She was abusive (both physically and verbally) to my mother, and for that, I had very little respect for her.  I love her out of a sense of duty, but I’m so conflicted.  In many ways, and for many reasons, her death is a blessing.

I can only recall my grandmother telling me she loved me one time, when I was going through one of the darkest periods of my life.  I know she loved me, and in many ways she favored me over my sister and her other grandchildren, but it was very difficult for her to tell anyone how she felt.

I can say that my grandmother was a physically beautiful woman who took time to make sure she always looked her best.  She worked for over 35 years at the cosmetics counters at The Emporium.  She loved using the products and made sure that we never bought “the drug store stuff.”  Grandma cared about her appearance, a trait that was passed down to my mom, and to me.  Some might call it vanity, but I like to think of it as taking care of ourselves.

My final memory of my grandmother is from this Sunday, Easter Sunday.  After having brunch with the family, my parents and I went to visit Grandma at the hospital.  I was shocked by her appearance – she was so thin, so frail, so weak.  She didn’t have her false teeth in, and she looked so ill.  But she was having a good day, and she continued to compliment us on  how we looked.  She told each of us that we looked so wonderful, and she even told my father that she loved the scent of his aftershave.  That memory of her complimenting us on our appearance is a happy one for me.

I am so thankful that I went to see Grandma on Sunday, and that she knew I was thinking about her.  I am glad she was able to recognize me and my parents, and that we were able to say goodbye to her.  The next day, Grandma had a stroke, and on Tuesday, she slipped into a coma.

I can’t imagine what my mom is going through right now.  Her entire life was spent seeking my grandmother’s love and approval, and she never really got it.  They went for huge periods of time not speaking, but in the end, they were able get past all of the hurt and bad feelings and say goodbye.  I am so grateful for that.

So, Grandma, where ever you are now, I hope that you are at peace in a way that you were never able to be in life.

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facebooklogo_11 I can’t tell you how cool this week has been in regards to getting back in touch with friends that I knew in high school!  All thanks to Facebook.  I know that site is incredibly addictive and a HUGE time suck, but you gotta love it for getting old friends back in touch.

When I first joined FB, most of my friends were people I was in regular contact with.  One guy from my grammar school got on and started connecting kids from elementary school! Then all of a sudden more and more girls from high school (I went to an all-girls, Catholic school) started joining. Suddenly FB was like a mini reunion every time I logged in.  For the most part I would exchange “hello, how’s life?” with these people and that was about it.

This week, though, I’ve actually reconnected with two former friends, and I couldn’t be happier.

DH and I were great friends in high school.  She was even LC’s “big sister,” at school.  Then we graduated and went our separate ways.  No falling out or anything like that.  Just sort of lost touch as we were starting new lives at college.  When I first joined FB, DH was one of the first names I looked up.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t on there yet.  I guess she joined not too long ago, and found me.  I was so excited!  She lives really nearby, and so we set a date to meet for lunch – Tuesday.  DH looks exactly as I remember her in high school.  Seriously, she has not aged a bit.  She’s still that kind, warm soul that I knew then.  She and I have so many parallels in our lives that it was a bit eery.  We’ve both struggled with our weight, we’re both on WW, we both had bad past relationships that completely devestated our lives, and yet we’re both moving on and looking ahead.  DH has two children, 7 and 8, which blows my mind.  When I think of myself having kids…well, I can’t.  Still, she has it together, and she’s doing so well.  We were having such a great time catching up at lunch that neither of us realized that we had been there for 4 HOURS!  We had over 2 decades to catch up on, though, so that’s about right.  We made an instant reconnection, and even revealed some pretty painful realities to each other.  I think we’re going to be great friends now that we’ve found each other again, and I’m so glad.

TI also recently found me on FB.  She and I met right after high school in a college English class and became fast friends.  She actually introduced me to my first love (not the terrible relationship, this guy was “the one who got away”).  TI and I used to go out and party like I can’t tell you.  At one point, we were hitting different bars downtown almost every night of the week.  But then again, we were in our 20’s so why not?  TI and I lost touch because she got sick and tired of me throwing away my life on the aforementioned terrible relationship.  Then she moved to San Diego, got married, had a child, and we lost touch.  She called me yesterday and we were on the phone catching up for 2 hours.  Since TI lives in San Diego, I’m not sure how often we’ll be able to see each other, but it sure is nice to talk now and then.

There are tons of other people on FB that I’ve reconnected with, and it’s so fun.  So far DH and TI are the only ones that I’ve actually met and/or talked on the phone with, but I know this is only the beginning.  CC is moving back to SF from NYC in a couple of months, and once that happens, I know she and I will hang out all the time.  LCS, one of my all-time-best-friends-ever in high school who moved back east our junior year said she’s going to be coming out to CA next year!  I cannot wait.  She and I tried to keep in touch for a while (about 7-8 years), but then it got to be too difficult.  Now that we’re both on FB, though, we chat all the time.

So while some of you may not appreciate getting poked, sent virutal cocktails, or asked to join Mob Wars, you’ve got to admit that FB really is a great tool for reconnecting with old friends.

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