Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Here I am...

I've been a sucky blogger lately. Sorry...I don't even have a decent excuse! Let me catch you up on me...

I have been riding and riding and riding my recumbent bike and this morning I tentatively reached for a pair of pants that had told me to "Get the heck away from me!" over the Holidays. They fit. Not so much that I'd want to wear them for any length of time, but enough that I didn't have to contort myself or injure myself to zip them. So...progress! I guess I could be a normal gal and buy a darn scale, but for many reasons, when the last scale died, I didn't replace it. The pants I tried on are my scale.

What else...Oh! I have a noodle addiction. I have for a long time. I very often crave the vegetable lo mien with xxxxxxx spicy tofu from a little Asian place close to work. Well, in an effort to save money and calories and fat grams, I've been researching recipes and reading articles to find a way to make healthy, cheap noodles at home. On my first attempt tonight, I scored! I made XXXXXXX spicy noodles with onions, ginger, water chestnuts, carrots and snow peas. Oh. My. Gosh. I love me. I can cook! If I wasn't marrying Steinvic, I'd marry myself over these noodles...

And finally... today. Today I had a dentist appointment and was finished around 4:30. Less than five minutes from there is the nursing home where my Grandma lived until she passed away last summer. I'd been thinking about going to see the nurses and aides who cared for her for so long, but every time I'd get the nerve, I'd chicken out and not go. I was just afraid it would be too hard. But today, I felt really compelled to go and so, clean teeth and squared shoulders, I went.

Walking down the ramp to the residential part of the home was tough. I've walked that ramp hundreds of times and every time I've done it, it was with great joy, knowing I was going to spend time with my Grandma. Even when she was dying, I looked forward to seeing her, feeding her, listening to her stories, holding her hand, and - as I told her - just being in the presence of greatness. But as I involuntarily caught my breath and swallowed a sudden surge of tears, I was very aware that this walk down the ramp was different. There was no Grandma waiting for me.

In fact, I didn't even know if there would be nurses there that cared for my Grandma or knew me. It has been almost six months...things change. Nurses burn out, change shifts and move on. I was so relieved to walk in and see Cindy.

Cindy, who had my Grandma as a first grade teacher about 35 years ago, not only provided excellent, professional care for my Grandma...she loved her and respected her. If you ever have to trust someone precious to you to the care of someone else, you will understand how much this means.

As soon as Cindy and I saw each other, we started crying. I apologized...she grabbed Kleenex and said she totally understood and was so glad to see me, how was I, how was my Mom. And I kept looking past her, down the hall, to my Grandma's doorway. I couldn't quit looking down there. I'd stopped at that desk so many times to talk to Cindy after my visits with my Grandma, and as we'd compare notes about how she was doing, I'd nod toward that room every time I said her name. Tonight was no different...but that room isn't hers any more.

Cindy told me that they'd actually not filled it for a few months on purpose, and then it sat for a few months ready, but unoccupied. But a few months ago, a lady moved in.

Cindy told her about the woman who used to live there, who had made that room a very happy place. She told the woman about my Grandma's Buttercups and Gladiolas and about how in the Spring, my Grandma's garden would be beautiful for her to enjoy...

Springtime without my Grandma.

I don't know if I will ever get over losing her. But right now, I don't feel like I have to.

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