Our new year comes with a loss

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I’m just going to get down to it. I’m NOT crazy about the start of this new year. Yes, I’m positive that there are great things in store for me and my family (um, hello…I’m giving birth to our 2nd child in about 3 more months!) and I’ll get around to a more uplifting “New Year” post that includes all of that….but at the moment I can’t help but to think that life as we knew it, will never be the same and I’m seriously torn up about it.

My parents moved. They moved out of the state! They used to be a short 10 minute drive away and now they’re about a 6+ hour drive away. Not the most devastating kind of news you were anticipating? I realize this isn’t end-of-the-world kind of stuff and may seem silly to some of you, especially those who already have great distance from parents/grandparents. But for me, this IS life changing.

My mom and I are close and always have been. She’s a pretty special person and an extra special mom. She’s always been there for me WHENEVER I’ve needed her. Seriously, whenever and whatever the reason. Her support nearly doubled (never even knew that was possible) when I had my daughter. I, without a doubt, consider her my rock. I went through some minor postpartum depression immediately after birth for a few weeks and my mom was here at my house with me everyday to help. When I went back to work about 4 months later, she watched my daughter every day for about a year so that I could bring in much needed money for our family. I’m so incredibly lucky to have had her during that time, both my husband and I are forever grateful for that. Having a person in your life that you completely and whole-heartedly trust with your child is priceless. My mom then went to a few days a week of watching my daughter for another year and since June of 2014, she’s been “retired”…meaning I’m even luckier to now be a stay-at-home-mom. Since the summer, my mom has still maintained a very close relationship with Mia. I’d either need my mom to watch her for an hour or 2 here or there, or my mom would stop by our house for a bit to visit or she’d steal Mia away for the afternoon, just for fun. Mia was seeing Grandma AT LEAST twice a week.

Because of my mom’s constant presence and because of how nurturing and patient and fun and understanding she is with Mia, she’s been her most favorite person. She’s been Mia’s rock! The two of them have been as thick as thieves, best friends, two peas in a pod. There was a time (more so when I was working) when Mia would cry EVERY SINGLE TIME that she would have to leave my mom. She would only want Grandma to hold her, forget Mom and Dad! Now, she only gets emotional a handful of times over Grandma’s departure. She does, however, ask about her all of the time. She even knows how to call her up on the phone for a quick chat. She always calls to ask Grandma to come over to Mia’s house, and half of the time, Grandma would oblige. Some mornings, “Grandma” is the first word out of Mia’s mouth. Whenever we’re driving anywhere remotely close to Grandma’s house, Mia recognizes her neighborhood and asks me if we’re going to see her. Mia’s definitely got Grandma on the brain.

I can’t even tell you how awesome it’s been to witness this special relationship. I couldn’t give a shit if I’ve had to stand on the sidelines occasionally because Mia wanted Grandma over me. That’s one bond that I’m not stepping in the way of or in any way am ever going to decrease, diminish or weaken. I’m so thankful for the relationship and the love that they have for each other and that’s exactly what makes this whole move the most difficult for me. It’s one thing for me to be losing the convenience of my mom being so close by, but it’s another to lose the amount of time that will be lost, shared between my kid and her Grandma. I’ve had the pleasure and fortune of having my mom in my life for the past 31 years, but my daughter has only had 2 1/2. I’ve personally never known what it means to be close to a grandparent and I badly wanted that experience for Mia. My mom’s parents live in Mexico and don’t speak English, my Dad’s parents died when I was a kid and lived out of state and my stepdad’s parents both died when I was Junior High age (I think) but lived about 2+ hours away. I was never close with any of them and I’ve always wondered what that kind of relationship would have been like in my life. When I saw the closeness between my own daughter and my mom, I was stoked! I was so happy for Mia’s sake that she would have an amazing Grandma in her life who she would grow up with. The woman who shaped me into who I am today, who I respect and admire and who I’ve always relied on would have a hand in raising my daughter along with me. What a dream!

Now, that dream of mine won’t at all be how I had envisioned it. Yes, Mia will always know her Grandma and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let her forget her or the time that they’ve shared together. But, sadly, their relationship will never be as strong as it once was or could have been. I want to cry, just thinking about it. I’m going to do everything I can to make the long drive to visit my parents as often as I can and I know my mom will do the same thing and visit us, but I’ll be lucky if we see each other even once a month! Ugh, that seriously sucks! I’m getting anxious and bummed out as I sit here and type. This move wasn’t a long planned event nor is it much of a desired one, for us or them. My parents are doing what they think is best for them, but it just comes at such a shitty time since I’m only a few months away from having our next kid. How sad that he/she will never have the same time with my mom that Mia did. I never thought that my family would be split like this, never thought my parents would move away while my kids were still so young. Both my husband and I are deeply saddened over it all, like there’s a giant rip in the seams of our lives. We both had selfishly hoped that the move would fall through or that somehow it wouldn’t happen and are still in shock over the fact that they’re actually gone. They left their home only a few days before the new year. This change is very fresh and I’m hardly evenly letting myself process it. I still haven’t swallowed the idea of a new family currently settled into the house that I lived in since Junior High. I always thought that house would have a place for Mia to find comfort in, make memories in, watch the fireworks on the 4th of July from the backyard at their annual party and enjoy their yearly Christmas dinner in.

Up until recently, I haven’t really let myself dwell on all of my feelings over this because I didn’t want to face it, accept it or fall apart. Unfortunately, those feelings have popped up from out of nowhere on a few occasions over the last few days and I’m noticing some trouble with my breathing at random times in the day. I didn’t recognize this as anxiety until sitting down to write this out, actually. I excused my shortness of breath and fast pacing heart as pregnancy side-effects but since I’m kinda feeling the same way again now, well, anxiety it is.

2015 is going to be an interesting year. It will be one of learning how to maintain Mia’s bond with my mom with distance working against us. It will be a year of trying to preserve the memories they made together, a year of long drives with not one but 2 small children to visit my parents, a year of scheduling time for them to come visit us, a year full of phone calls and helping my parents master the art of skype/web cams, a year of longing for the closeness that once was, a year of feeling lonely, a year of missing my mom, a year of comforting a sad and confused toddler that doesn’t fully understand why Grandma isn’t around much anymore, a year of sending cards and letters and photos, a year of picture texts, a year of finding new ways to keep the thought and spirit of my parents alive in Mia’s mind and a year of finding new friends or family that we trust to help watch Mia if we’re ever in a bind (still haven’t left her with anyone other than my mom or at her preschool). I could easily chalk up 2015 as the year of sadness and loss and learning to live without. It’s clear that all of that will be a solid part of it. But I have to choose to find the positive and I have to choose to remember all I have to be thankful for. I’m so grateful that at least we’re a car drive away from my parents and that we don’t have to take an expensive plane ride to and from each visit. And even though I consider it a short time together, I’m still so thankful for the priceless and valuable 2 1/2 years of closeness that Mia and my mom shared. It’s more than some people ever get so I’ll never forget it and always hold it dear.

Even though I hate the fact that my parents moved, I have to find a bright side. With that being said, 2015 is going to be a year of exploring a new town (where my parents now live) in a beautiful state which is full of many places my husband and I have always wanted to see and even hike! It’s going to be a year of passing through the always exciting LAS VEGAS as we make our way to see my parents. It’s going to be a year of getting a handful of much-needed time for my husband and I without the kids because yes, I’m absolutely leaving them at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a whole weekend or more at a time so we can get away (something we’ve never done since we’ve been married/Mia was born). Okay, so my “positives” list is much shorter than my “negatives” but I’m still going to make the best of this shitty situation because in life, that’s all you can really do. We all have to make the best of what we have, of the cards we’re dealt and of situations that we can’t and won’t always be able to control. We have to accept and make peace with the bad and leave it behind as we move forward to focus on what’s still good. Another lesson I’m learning is to really appreciate what I have and while I still have it, because nothing is guaranteed or permanent.  Right now I’m still in too much shock to focus on much, so I’m focusing on getting us out to visit my parents in their new place before this month is over. I think the sooner that Mia can see this new house we all keep talking about for herself, the sooner she’ll begin to understand why she can’t see Grandma anytime she wants to anymore. And there’s already talk of a few days in February when Grandma can come stay with us for another visit. And I know that my mom will be here for me in every way she can once the baby comes in April…so at least the first few months of the year won’t be so bad. I just hope that we all make these visits a priority as the year continues and as life goes on, because it will. It’s not going to go on the way I had planned or hoped, but onward it will go and I’ll keep moving forward right along side it. We all will.

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*Note: I took part in a blogger collective this year and fell WAY BEHIND with the writing prompts assigned. This particular prompt on “Loss” was created for the month of October and clearly, I’m a little late. Sorry ladies! Please check out Erica’s blog who was the member featured for the month of October. She’s been a blogging buddy of mine for a few years now? I think? Wow :)


“Loss” is the October writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Erica of To the Sea. A few words from Erica — Hello! My name is Erica and I blog at To the Sea. I have a two-year-old daughter and 5-month old son. I went to school for Geography and travel is my passion. I’m also an attorney, but I’m currently staying at home to raise my kids. I love surfing and punk rock. I write about parenting, fitness, and life around the world. I love being a mommy and am stoked to be a part of the Mommy Blogger Collective! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

/// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and Renée. ///

Comments

  1. I’m so sorry your new year has started off on a sour note :(

  2. This is a big change, and does totally suck. We will be okay and make it happen just like we do with everything else that is thrown at us. I few other items to be happy about is your healthy daughter, husband and yourself, a successful growing business that supports your life style the freedom to stay at home and raise your kids, the thought of having the freedom to be able to leave and visit your Mon without having to worry about a work schedule or a boss.
    2015 will be a kick ass year for us all. #focus #direction #hustle

    • Oh don’t you worry, Daddy Dom! I haven’t forgotten about all of the other great things that awaits us this year. In fact, I was saving some of those things for another post about resolutions and goals, etc. But this post….is my pity party over the move :( I still need to process my sadness a bit more before I can move on and feel really good about everything else. But you’re right and I’ll get there. Thank you for mourning with me over this and being so understanding of just how crappy this is for us, and at the same time, being supportive of our future and strength. Love you.

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