Friday, November 20, 2009

what it means to be a family


A couple of weeks ago I lost one grandmother and at the same time the other grandmother had a bad stroke-needless to say life has been a little sad and challenging lately.

I have been up in the northwest and while I have only been gone for a few days it feels like forever- I flew into Seattle and jumped right in to helping my mom pack and clean my grandmother's home and lots of time spent visiting with her at her new home in assisted living. I was not at all prepared for the experience and I am not sure if there really is any way to prepare but it is a strange combo of love, sadness, stress, humor and lots of confusion. I am amazed that my grandma Ona is doing pretty good after what her body has been through- she is very confused, weak and emotional but overall good- at 91 she is now having to learn how to write, use a fork, walk and live all over again and it was quite a powerful experience to watch my mom teaching and encourging her with all of these things. From practicing writing to teaching her how to use the remote control to showing her how to pick out clothes that match we spent A LOT of time just being together trying to be normal. After a whirlwind of emotions and activity up in Seattle, I am now at home on the quiet but stormy Oregon coast for a few days of R&R at home- taking time to process everything and simply enjoy and reflect on what it means to be a family :)

8 comments:

Kathleen Kibblehouse said...

Alisa, I recently had to go through a similar situation with my mother - that one's brutal, so it's good that you are getting some experience so when the time comes for "the big one"... and surely you don't have to worry about that one for many years. But the good news is that these emotional times in our lives tend to inspire great moments of creativity. Not sure why, but chalk it up to a deeper digging into the emotional self where art lives and needs nourishment. Hang in there and enjoy the love that is surely all around you.

jgr said...

Alisa,
My thoughts are with you. Kathleen 'hit the nail on the head' it is all good (painful) experience for the future. FAMILY- It means everything:
Take care and I hope you enjoy your much needed rest.

anna maria said...

Very difficult times for all concerned. Your grandmother is lucky to have both of you and your mother is lucky to have you. A chain of love.

The Adventurous Art Teacher said...

So sorry to hear about your grandmothers... Not really knowing what I could say to comfort you, I thought about the title of your post. What it means to be a family.
Enjoy every minute, the quite times, the happy times and the sad. Save them all in your memory so that you never forget that love.

xx

Robbie said...

Cherish the time...to keep the memories flowing...

angeljoy said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandma(s). ((hugs))

peggy said...

I am so sorry alisa, its so hard and emotional when these "times" happen to our loved ones. It makes you appreciate life and your loved ones so much more doesn't it. Its great that you were there for your mother and grandmother, I am sure it means a lot to both of them. Take care, your sweet and creaive and thankfully have a loving husband. Peggy

nadia said...

my sympathy to you and your family for the loss of your grandmother. I am going through a similar situation with my mom as your mom is with hers. my mom was diagnosed with psp this year and her health has really declined. like you said family is so important and it really makes you think. I really cherish every moment I have with my mom and try to keep everything as positive as possible. she has lost the ability to do so many things, but she still has a smile on her face. we are lucky to have shared our lives with such beautiful women. hugs. ciao!

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