We are 15 days into this month and all I can say so far is ouch. What a way to ring out the year. A year that seemed for the most part to be going better than the year previous.
On December 1st, just 15 days shy of her 63rd birthday, my Aunt Carol passed away. My Aunt lived a very hard life. She got on a path that lead her down some bad ways that were riddled with addiction. She had been in and out of my life growing up and I can't say we were ever especially close. That said, when I found out she had passed away I was saddened. No matter what she was family. She also loved my son. There was something about that boy that just made her giddy and that was such a nice feeling. I was assured by the fact that she had lived a hard life and was in a much better place now. It feels like such a cliche, but very true.
On Tuesday, December 11th I got a call at work from my Sister in Law. I knew it wasn't good and picked up the phone prepared to be told that my Father in Law was in the hospital. He has not been in the best of health since August so it was easier to assume this is what had happened. When the words "Mom is in the hospital" came out of her mouth I didn't know what to say. While my Mother in Law has been suffering from early alzeheimers, she has otherwise been healthy. She had a stroke and it did not look good. She passed away the next morning.
Joan was an amazing woman. She was a concert pianist, a mother of 6 and an overall wonderful woman and Mother in Law. I don't have any of those traditional Mother in Law stories because the fact of the mater is...I loved her. She was my family. She welcomed me into the family from the first moment that I met her. When I had Leyton I got to see a whole other side. She loved my son so much it made my heart burst. Even on her bad days, Leyton could show up to the house and change her world. She beamed when she looked at him. She hugged him like she never wanted to let go. She seemed to love him as much as I do.
I have handled my grief well. I've tried to stay strong for my husband and the rest of the family, helping however I could. I cried when no one was looking and smiled when they were. Then yesterday happened. I took Leyton out to his Grandma and Grandpa's to see the family and have dinner. When he started asking "Where's Grandma?" my heart broke. I don't even know how to answer that.
Some would say not to worry because he is so young he won't remember. I take absolutely no comfort in that. I want him to remember her. I want him to grow up and talk about the stories of the time he spent with Grandma. I want him to grow up knowing how much she loves him. Now that can only happen by me telling him, not him having the chance to grow those memories himself. It makes me angry. Angry that I didn't have children earlier. I've been with Bill for so many years, why did we wait so long? It's so silly I know, but I just can't shake it.
I want my son to have Grandparents. I grew up with Grandma's, both of my maternal Grandpa's passed away before I had a chance to know them. I have always wished I had a chance to know them. Leyton has a wonderful Grandma in Florida. She loves him like her own as well, but she is so far away. He lost his other Grandma. He has a Grandpa here in Davis who I adore, but he is not in great health. I want Leyton to know how amazing he is. I want Leyton to have great memories of time he spends with him. I can only hope we have that kind of time. Leyton's other Grandpa is an alcoholic. Leyton doesn't really know who is, he is only Grandpa because I tell him that's who he is. I give him this title that he does not even deserve.
It breaks my heart. Losing people you care about sucks and now I have to figure out how to deal with all of this. I miss you Joan, you forever hold a huge place in my heart.