Monday, April 18, 2011

Full Circle

Well, where have I been you ask?  If you recall, not that long ago I was declaring how grateful I was that everyone in my house was healthy...let it be said it is me who caught the bug.  It came upon me in an instant.  You know that very moment when you stop and think...hmm it feels like I'm getting a sore throat.  That happened to me last Wednesday at lunch.  I tried to work through the sore, scratchy throat pretending like I wasn't getting sick because somehow in my illogical reasoning I thought if I deny won't come. 

It came.

I wanted to pretend I wasn't getting sick and "will it" away because I had weekend plans.  Good plans.  Road trip plans.  My mom and I and my girls had a little weekend getaway .  We drove five hours south to visit my grandparents.  On Friday, after a doctors visit, a prescription, and some time at work... my mom and I loaded up the girls and headed down the highway.  It wasn't long before laryngitis decided to inhabit my body and for the entire weekend I sounded like a pre-pubescent boy.  My voice was squeaking and alternating between high an low octaves...I was never quite sure what was going to come out when I opened my mouth.  And it continues today.

This was an important road trip because things have changed since the last time I was down to visit my grandparents.  Grandpa is still making his way in the personal care home.  But grandma... she has a new pad.  Grandma moved into town from the quiet little community where her and Grandpa had lived for their many retired years.  And on the drive down I thought about what impact this little change in grandma's geography would have. Change is good, right?
The grandma - high five.
 As we drove down the highway we came upon the sign that pointed the way to the tiny hamlet where grandma and grandpa's retirement home was located, I held onto the steering wheel if some magnetic force was going to pull me in that direction...I had to fight against the auto pilot who has made that right turn off the highway and down through the steep hills and hairpin corners of The Bog for so many years.  And in that moment my mom says, "It feels strange not to be turning here" ... as if she is present in my thoughts.

I continued driving past the familiar turn off completeing the extra 20 km into the town that Grandma and Grandpa now call home. My voice was gone but my inner voice was whispering my thoughts.   I admired the beautiful, old, Ukrainian church up on the hill as I always do...and thought "one of these days I'm going to stop and take a picture of that church in all its glory"  and I wondered if the inside was a beautiful as the outside and I thought about how exquiste they built churches long ago.  When we arrived into town we drove by the little apartment where my other grandma used to live.  It made me think of her and I wondered if someone elses grandma lives there now. 

We finally pulled up to Grandma's apartment block, my girls sound asleep in the back seat as it was hours past their bedtime.  I looked up at the lights glowing in the apartment windows and asked my mom which one was grandma's.  The one with the two horses in the window...of course.  We carried our bags and two sleepy girls into grandma's new pad where she was waiting up for us as she has done countless times in her life...anticipating the arrival of family members at any hour of the day or night. 

As we hugged and kissed and looked around grandma's new felt like home.  It felt the same...just different.  Her bread making bowl was hanging in the storage room, the National Enquirers (which she buys for the crossword she claims) were on the table, the blankies and the afgans and all the treasures that make grandma's house grandma's house were all the same just in a new location.  Just like Grandma...still the same just calling a new place home. 

My visit made me think about how things have come full circle.  I remember being a young girl, going with my mom and grandma to visit my great-grandparents in this same town.  In little apartments full of grandma type things just like this.  And now my girls will do the same...they will make their own memories.  Memories of Chicken Delight dinners at great-grandpa's room.  Memories of orange creamcycles and elevator rides at grandma's apartment.  Memories of the love of a family passed on from one generation to the next.

Change is good, right?  When you embrace it with open arms.  When you don't fear it.  When you don't run and hide from it.  When you feel it.  When you accept it.   Change is necessary in order to make memories. And even though my outer voice barely spoke all weekend, memories were made in my heart and in the hearts of my girls for this full circle moment.

1 comment:

Megan said...

I love that full circle feeling. And glad you got time with family...that's so important!