4 Generations

My journey from here takes a much more serious tone and even though there are many fun times…things seem to be spiraling way out if my control.  Although I could tell dreads was beginning to become enthralled with me, I could not go there.  It just wasn’t right with my job, with the timing and I had so much going on I really couldn’t give him the attention that he deserved and it would have been unfair to him.  I kept my distance for a at work and kept the after work chit-chat to a minimum.  On the home front things went from bad to worse and then got worse than that.  My girls needed my undivided attention and if anyone has ever lived through the teenage girl years in this day and age, I give them credit cause all I wanted to yell is SEND IN REINFORCEMENTS I’M NOT GONNA MAKE IT!  Issues at home began to ignite left and right and there was tension in my home at every turn.  It was way passed just me being their annoying mother, it was at the I know nothing, I can not say anything right, I am a tyrant and maybe I was, but I was still their mother and even though it was like we were in the heart of battle, every minute of every day, I had no idea what was still lurking ahead for me around the next corner. My children had never been disciplinary issues at school, they were not disrespectful to my family or friends, they were very good are being parent pleasers, just not this parent.  They hated me and I could see it in their eyes.  Their pain went beyond your typical rotten teenage behavior and I needed to focus all my efforts in helping them as best I could.  But it was just me and me alone. I grew up in a house with extended family there all the time.  My grandmother lived with us my whole life.  She had an apartment upstairs in my parents house and it was like going to another world.  The smells, the cooking, the games she played, the music she listened to.  It was all so authentic.  Longevity runs in my family and this grandmother, grandma upstairs as we called her, cause well, she lived upstairs and lived to be 96 years old.  There were 4 generations of my family alive and kicking for almost 15 years.  Not many kids would be able to say that they had their great-grandmother around for 15 years, but mine did.  And it was one of the biggest blessings.  My mother doted on my grandmother as if she were ill, but she wasn’t….she was just old.  She still had a smart mouth and a quick step and did not hold back.  I guess at that age you have no reason to hold anything back.  You have lived long enough and are then somehow entitled to speak your mind even if it is politically incorrect cause really, you just don’t give a damn.  She’s the most inspirational woman I’ve ever know second of course is my mother with a close second I might add.  My grandmother raised my mother and uncle by herself from the time my mother was 4 and my uncle was 2, very similar to my own story.  Maybe that’s why she always had a vested interest in me.  People always say I look like her, but deeper than that I could appreciate her spirit.  I could look at her face and realize what she had been through, cause I too had traveled much of that same road. She came from a big family and the stories she told I could listen to for hours which is good cause sometimes they went on for hours.  That October she got sick, not that big a deal except she was 96 and being sick at 96 is not the same as being sick at 26.  She went into the hospital to fight a bladder infection.  She pasted away a few days later from complications.  That was the first time since I was 11 that I lost anyone I loved.  It would be the first time my children would experience death.  Telling my children that she past away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I had done quite a few hard things thus far in my life.  They were crushed.  I could see the life drain from their eyes as they filled up with tears. They laid in my arms that night as they cried.  I just sat quietly letting them know she is always with us.  And for this I was certain.  That night I had a dream about her.  She was standing at the foot of my bed…I was half asleep and I remember waking up and still having my eyes closed saying out loud “You cannot be there when I open my eyes….you can come to me in my dreams but you can’t be standing there.  I’m opening my eyes now”

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