Friday, August 9, 2013

An elephant is sitting on my lungs

I'm heading off tomorrow with the kids to stay with my grandmother for a few days. I'm mostly feeling 1) guilty that I didn't get down there before, 2) horribly terrified that I will be useless and 3) scared out of my mind about losing my grandmother. Honestly, she's doing well. She is turning 87 on Sunday and not in good physical health, but made it through a broken leg (which has a really high mortality rate in older people) and a surgery in which she lost a lot of blood and a long recovery. So she's doing well.

But she's still turning 87 on Sunday.  And Daniel's parents are in their late 70s. We got started on kids 10 years later than our parents did, and honestly, none of our parents had kids very young. So our parents are 10 years older than our grandparents were. I'm 36 and have one biological grandparent (and one foster grandparent who is only 13 years older than my dad, who himself is considered a senior citizen at this point) left.  Every time I think of my kids growing up without knowing their great-grandparents (who I was fortunate enough to know in several cases) or even their grandparents, I descend into a mass of tears and feeling guilty for not finding a husband/getting engaged/married/pregnant faster than I did. Which I did pretty quickly, for me.

Family history really matters to me.  I've always been interested in it- my dad's side of the family is a spaghetti mess of marriage and divorce and I don't even know what and my mom's side is pretty normal, and my husband's side is even more messy than my dad's side (multiple simultaneous wives in the old Chinese world and leaving wives to marry new ones at the same time in the not-so-accepting of that! world and who knows who is related to whom, they are all uncles and aunts!) but I want my kids to know who they are and where they've come from. And losing these older generations before the kids are old enough to care is a big blow.

And I'm just not ready to say goodbye and explain to Ethan and Vivian where these people who they love have gone. I'm a massive wimp in terms of unpleasantness and sadness. I just am not ready for this. Whenever it happens and whatever form. It's not here yet, but I'm still not ready. And I doubt I ever will be.

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