Last weekend we made a quick trip to Michigan for a Mass dedicated to my Grandpa, who passed away one year ago. We drove up on Saturday, and came back Sunday afternoon. Since I work nights, I have trouble sleeping at night. I think from Friday to Sunday I got about five hours of sleep combined. I felt like a zombie. Because I was so tired, the emotions I felt surrounding feelings of loss for my Grandpa, didn’t hit me until later. I went in to work on Monday and just felt like I was on the verge of crying all night. This pretty much was me.
I came home that morning and just let the tears flow. I think for the first time since he died, I just let myself miss him. I felt the regret of not going to see him right before he passed. I felt the loss for my Grandma; the loss she must feel everyday he is not there. I let myself feel the loss of never really getting to know him. I felt the loss of time, time that I will never get back.
As I was writing in my journal later that night, a memory from Second Grade came rushing back. It was “Bring Your Grandparents to School Day”. We lived four hours away from my Grandparents and only saw them a handful of times a year. I remember my Grandma coming with me to class for part of the day(I think my Grandpa probably went with my older sister). We ate lunch with them, showed them our classroom, and if I remember right, there was a book fair going on. At the end of the day I remember walking out to recess with my Grandma. I knew it was time to say good-bye, and I was overcome with sadness. I loved spending the day with her, and I knew that I wouldn’t see her again for a few months. I remember hugging her goodbye and hiding my tears as I ran to go play with my friends. I think, even then I felt the loss.
What I’ve realized is that time is always moving forward. We can never go back and change the past, but we can change the future. I’ve realized how important my family is to me, and how I want to value the time we spend together. I know I want to live near my family so my future kids won’t have to know the feeling of lost time.
In the coming year, I vow to spend more quality time with my family, and appreciate my time still living at home.
“I sustain myself with the love of family.”
― Maya Angelou