I was never fortunate enough to meet my maternal grandfather, James Leo Bateman, but my mom spoke highly of him. I think, like me, she was a “daddy’s girl.” She would often tell me that in some ways I reminded her of him, he was a music lover, just like I am, he would randomly dance around the house, just like I do, he had the same sense of humor I have, and she always said I would have been the apple of his eye, his one and only granddaughter. Although, I’ve never met the man I feel this strange connection with him, even more so in my adult years. I live in the house he once did with my grandmother, maybe I can sense his spirit. Do you believe that’s possible?
There is a buckeye tree in my yard that he planted, one that I had intended to cut down when we first moved in, because buckeyes were all over the yard, especially this time of year, but now, I just can’t seem to bring myself to part with it. I have fallen in love with this tree, and this time of year, I awaken to it’s beautiful colors, as it’s the view from my bedroom window.
I find myself, often, stopping to admire this tree as I sip my coffee in the mornings and reflect on whatever it is that’s going on in my life. This time of year has become bittersweet for me. Fall has always been my favorite season, and it’s filled with my favorite things, beautiful reds, oranges, and golds, warm days and crisp cool nights, apple cider, pumpkins, and the list goes on. However, this time of year was filled with traditions with my mom. Her birthday is a week from today and I’ve been missing her terribly. Of all things, an episode of The Simpsons made me think of her, and I bawled my eyes out, longing to feel one of her hugs.
I remember after her passing hearing people say things like “Time will heal your pain,” or “You can still talk to her, ya know?” I get it, people mean well, and I know they do. But I’m here to tell you friends, time does not heal. All time does is remind me of how many years I’ve now lived without her. What people don’t tell you is that no matter how much time passes there will be moments that steal your breath. Don’t mistake these for the moments that take your breath away, there is a difference. Someone who may not have heard of your loved ones passing will ask how they are, and that, well….I’d rather be slapped in the face than feel that “gut punch,” or you’ll see someone who resembles them so much it steals your breath, your heart literally stops beating for a few seconds, and you fall to your knees crying like a blubbering idiot in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot (yes, this really happened.) My point is when you lose someone that close to you, the loss is insurmountable and your life will be changed irrevocably. What you need in those moments is for someone to be there, just to listen, to hold you, for moral support. Time will do nothing to heal those wounds, there’s a hole in your heart that cannot be filled, and while yes, you can still talk to your loved one, it’s not the same as having them right in front of you.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…..Loudly!!
It’s okay to not be okay!!
I have recently come to terms with the fact that I will more than likely never be a mother. I have been mourning the loss of a child I will never have. I will never know what it feels like to have a child grow in my belly, I will never experience the miracle of holding a child, the representation of mine and Neil’s love in human form in my arms. I will never know what it’s like to hear a little voice call out in the middle of the night “Mommy.” My friends and family tell me, “I know you’ll be a mother one day,” or “Keep trying,” or other words of encouragement, and I appreciate it, I really, really do! But now, all it does is get my hopes up. My husband has numerous health issues, and I’m not saying it’s impossible for us to get pregnant, but I don’t think the odds are in our favor, and I know it hurts him. He feels like it’s his fault, but it isn’t. He didn’t ask to be sick. But I’m not going to tell him everything’s okay, because it’s not. Life is not all sunshine and rainbows, life very rarely goes the way we want it to, but we learn how to adapt, and while my husband hates this saying, “It is what it is.”
I often sit and wonder what my grandfather would say to me if he were alive today, granted, he would be 99 years old, but in his infinite wisdom would he say “My sweet girl, don’t give up hope just yet,” or would he just put on some music, sit with me on the front porch, and tell me how the autumn leaves are a genuine reminder of how beautiful it is to let go? I like to think that it’s the latter. I like to think that my grandfather was one of those rare souls that said the things that no one else says, that understands that life isn’t perfect, but it’s up to us to decide how to handle it. We can sit in sorrow and wallow in self pity, or we can rise above it, but regardless of our choice, there is no right or wrong, we are who we are, and we shouldn’t be judged for it. There will always be bad times, and we need them to truly appreciate the good. Life isn’t good or bad, it’s simply just living.
So today, my friends, I have said goodbye to the woman who has so desperately longed to be a mother, and I’m welcoming whatever life has in store for me with open arms, so when it comes time for me to leave this earth, I can say that I have truly lived!
Love & life lessons,