Tag Archives: worth

Is It Real…

Or is it Menopause?

It was a relief to discover that my red-eyed appearance was not an emotional symptom, but rather simply a case of dry eyes that I ignored to the point where my tissues were constantly inflamed.  Menopause symptom, likely, and easily addressed by adding Omega 3 and using re-wetting or artificial tear drops as needed.  As needed being more often than I remember to administer – but I’ll get there.  Thankfully, my constant red eyelids are now just an unpleasant memory.

Granted, I’ve been more likely to reach a silent overwhelm of emotion these days, particularly when I’m in the presence of my children.  It makes no sense to me, as these are some of the people with whom I draw the most comfort.

watered false nettle

I am rendered nearly speechless, unable to converse comfortably, or sensibly.  Some of it is attributed to tinnitus – there are only so many tones that I can focus on without losing part of what’s being heard.   Partly, it’s that I don’t want to miss a thing, so I nearly miss everything as I try to focus on every conversation at once.  Not as easy a fix – but I’ll be working to find my perfect hearing range so that I can focus to give full-on attention to the conversant in that range.

The part that I can’t change is that I’m full to the brim with love for these people, and am faced with a change in status, for which I have no practice.

watered dawn 2

Change is a constant in life, and I’ve done a damn fine job of handling change in the past (meaning that I didn’t go on a rampage, and I didn’t have a total meltdown).  Change during my earlier years was like drinking water.  I gulped it down and on to the next task I went.

About five years ago I noticed a shift, a grating of tectonic plates sort of shift.  Suddenly, I found myself irritable with too much change or too many compounded changes.  Sure, I could still function well, I could still move on to the next task, but my comfort zone had been impacted, and it unsettled me, irritated me.

Still in the irritable stage, change has been fairly constant, the compounded sort, but I’m functional.

watered daylight

A change in position not aptly prepared for – that sort of change is like a chasm that has opened up beneath me.  I’m not prepared for it, but accept that I must either embrace and learn to roll with it, or tumble along grasping recklessly at strongholds along the way.

Mother-in-law, Step-mother-in-law, Grandma, Step-Grandma – these titles, these changes to my position, have caught me off-guard in comparison with my own head-in-the-clouds, prior-concocted expectations.

Let me broadcast with great joy:  I have the absolute best of the pick when it comes to family.  Our sons were extremely easy to raise, and they chose very well when they chose their mates.  I have daughters-in-law whom I love dearly, and they are the perfect complement to our family.  Our grandchildren are a pure delight, and their parents are doing a great job raising these youngsters.

sunflower detail

My job should be easy, but I’m a perfectionist in the most annoying ways – obsessive about where my everyday use items are situated, persnickety about what I ingest, and particularly overly particular in creating my own expectations.

I want to match expectations that I set long ago.  I want to take bits and pieces from others I’ve observed in these positions and meld them into some fantasy figure, based on very little reality.  Who could possibly have factored in where I or my family would be in our lives when this particular stage of life arrived?

So I emote silly things based on my silly notions, and get myself all tizzy-frazzled for things that no one else can control.

Compound that with the fact that my mother-in-law died during my second year of marriage, creating a void where I could have learned a great deal.  My mentor is absent, that’s my excuse…

hewn

So I’m forging ahead in uncharted territory, with great hope that I won’t injure any relationships, step on anyone’s feelings, or cause any great distress; yet keep in mind my own emotional health and well-being.

Oh, and did I mention I’m menopausal?  😉

A Growing Family

Due to increased risk to mommy and baby, our pregnant daughter-in-law will be induced this week – three weeks early – bringing a new granddaughter into our world.

The thought of that perfect little parcel of cells opening her mouth wide and gulping her first breath exhilarates me.

I’ve always loved kids.  Kids and animals.  Put me in a room full of faces and bodies and I’ll find a corner from which to observe and the small bodies will gravitate to me.

Conversations with kids are so easy and natural – innocent and information hungry questions, simple requests, and bonding extraordinaire.  Pure enjoyment of pets comes without the hassle of overtones and inflections and nuances.

Adding instant grandchildren has been so easy for me.  Build a quick addition to my ‘heart and soul house’ and put their name on the wall.  Instant family.  Instant love.  Equal rights.  Easy-peasey.

This is a first though – a challenge to my stance.  A seed.  The added room to the ‘heart and soul house’ is more like a new tree.  It’s been growing, a part of me already – not quite the same as something I’ve built.  Suddenly I’m aware of those carefully saved treasures, little snippets of papers to show progress through the years; memories captured – boxed and saved books from my childhood, special items from my son’s childhood; simple little cards and writings I’ve protected dutifully through the years.  Suddenly all of these things make perfect sense.  Their space-taking has full value now – these are the physical representations, the accouterments of the new room, the outgrowth finally seen for its worth.

And now my logical mind wrests with the knowledge that what I’ve always said, what I’ve always thought, what I’ve always lived, is not quite true.  I’ve fooled myself.

Blood is thicker than water.  It is.  There’s a surge of feelings that cannot simply be constructed with imported family.

But there is the choice, free choice, true choice to build family, to add them honestly and truly to your heart.

I recognize the difference now, as I contemplate that these hands, these arms, these eyes, will caress an outgrowth of my cells, my parts, my pieces.  My mom’s parts and pieces – my dad’s parts and pieces.  Suddenly the generational puzzle will fit another piece into place.

Those family that have been added as fully formed units formed from other generational parts are still my family – they have their own true familial space, because my heart constructs very authentic room additions on the ‘heart and soul house’.  For better or for worse.

So to my daughter-in-law who brought me instant grandchildren:  Dear love, you are my tribe – your kids are my tribe.  I’m Grandma no matter the result of your vows – the heart rooms are already built, and I’m a master constructor, and an equal opportunity sort of gal.  Please understand that I never got the same start with your babes that is now available with their cousin-to-be.  Bear with me as I bond, as I relish in the glow of new feelings.  Hang in there Hon – there’s no devaluation in store.  We’re adding, not subtracting, love for one more.  You are my daughter, and I love you and what you’ve added to our family.

And to my daughter-in-law who carries the unborn child of my son, my cells, the inheritor of my past:  Dear love, bear with me as I run the gamut of emotions, as I try to give you space to bond.  For my hands want to reach out and intertwine with this new little semblance of my son.  My mind wants to erase the mistakes I made as a mom and embrace the opportunities of being a grandma that is there from day one, with the hindsight and knowledge to share.  I’ll do my best not to smother you all with my needs.  Know that as this little one resides in room number six of the ‘heart-and-soul’ home – it’s the first room of its type, it’s special and will always be, something I have no skill to construct.  A room only God can produce.  I love you, dear daughter, and love what you give to my son.

Bubbe T

aka Grandma Trish

 

 

Garden

“One of the most important resources that a garden makes available for use, is the gardener’s own body. A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.”

Wendell Berry

Journeys

“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”

Wendell Berry