Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Birthday and A Death

My birthday has become a defining point over the past couple of years. My birthday is no longer just a day of celebration, but a season of happiness and sadness.

Last year, I celebrated a milestone birthday. This milestone birthday was supposed to be celebrated by a luxury beach vacation to the Caribbean. I was in my third trimester of pregnancy. Instead, we went to visit my parents and enjoyed a delicious gourmet dinner at a winery. I had some wine. That was the extent of my celebration. Even though the celebration was not what I imagined it would be like, that weekend was very special for me anyways.

This year, my birthday was celebrated with my parents again. They watched the baby, the husband and I went out to lunch at a winery and then did some shopping. I greatly enjoyed the few hours that we had to focus on each other. We had champagne and my mom brought dessert from a local boulangerie.

A few days later, on the way to Gatlinburg for vacation, I find out very sad news about my grandma passing. She passed suddenly. The day after my birthday. Everyone was in shock. The thoughts that keep running through my head:

  • She will never get to meet her only great grandchild (she lived in Russia),
  • I'm glad I called her a few weeks earlier and talked to her,
  • I hope she is watching over the baby now,
  • I can no longer call her and talk to her.

The passing of a grandparent is a difficult event for everyone. I am sad that she is no longer around. I also forget at times that she is no longer around. But, I try to focus on the positive memories. I try to remember her. I tell the baby stories about her. While working on a small sewing project for the baby's first birthday, I remembered when my grandma showed me how to use her sewing machine. She left the sewing machine to me when she moved back to Russia. I do not want to forget her, so I am trying to find ways to help us all to remember her.

With the warmer outside temperatures and a huge itch to get the garden going, I decided to plant a few plants in the garden to commemorate her. One of my earliest memories of grandma was going to the park. I do not remember what the park looked like, but I remember a huge field of poppies. Whenever I see poppies, I am always reminded of grandma. Yesterday, at Whole Foods, I picked up a packet of poppy seeds and sowed the seeds in the herb garden. I would also like to plant a tree or a bush in honor of grandma.

March brought other sad news as we found out about a loved one of a friend also passing the week prior to my grandma, acquaintances being diagnosed with serious medical diagnoses, and little girls in church having potentially terminal diseases. March also brought happy news, like births of babies.

This year has already brought so much change, growth, happiness, and sadness. Yet, life keeps moving on. Life forces us to move on. There is always something to keep us moving or distract us from the challenges that the days bring. The baby keeps growing and developing. I have to be flexible and adapt to his needs. We accept loses of loved ones and try to remember only the good times and we welcome births of babies and rebirths of ourselves.

>> How has your year been so far?? Have you experienced any surprises??

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