Some of you may know that my dear grandma (Teta) has not been doing well since early summer. I've tried to exclude that sad reality from this blog as much as I can, but it's time to use this forum as an outlet for expressing how I feel and to make this blog a true journal of what I am experiencing these nine months. I cannot begin to tell you how painful it has been, watching her deteriorate; to see her regress from a fiercely independent, strong-willed, sharp-minded opinionated woman to someone who has fallen victim to dementia in a short amount of time, who has become extremely frail, immobile, and requiring 24/7 supervision and assistance with the basics of life, including getting out of bed, showering and going to the bathroom. At this point, she is under the care of Hospice -- a non-profit ministry that cares for the terminally ill. She still remembers who I am and smiles when she sees me, but she has difficulty formulating words and stringing together sentences. Our conversations (which used to equal 3-4 phone calls a day) have now been reduced to every other day. Primarily because I have a hard time trying to talk to her without crying. And as of three days ago, she can no longer really hold a lucid conversation. I try to visit as much as I can, but I am keeping a deliberate distance because I just can't emotionally handle seeing her in this condition. And I don't want to put myself in a position of constant anxiety and sadness because of the baby. My stepmom has admirably stepped in as the role of caregiver, and I will always be grateful for her sacrifices and help. God knows there is no way I could have cared for Teta myself (for one, I physically can't and also, I don't think I could have taken on the responsibility.) To say it is heartbreaking to watch her suffer in this way is a gross understatement. Words cannot begin to convey how shattered I feel inside -- that during this momentous, life-changing chapter, I don't have my Teta around as a guiding light; that instead, I am experiencing an extreme dichotomy: Tremendous loss and the tremendous gift of life at the same time.
|Pic taken in 2009...on our way to our favorite destination: the mall|
They say God works in mysterious ways. I can't help but wonder if my pregnancy was all part of a bigger plan - His plan - to help carry me through what would inevitably happen to my Teta and what would also be one of the most difficult and heartrending experiences I would ever face. When I find myself in a bottomless pit of tears, I stop and think about the baby. I start feeling his kicks and punches inside and am immediately reminded to be strong for him. I don't want to compromise his health or the safety of my pregnancy, so I wipe my tears and start watching his movements through my belly; a blessed distraction and a reminder of how beautiful and cruel life can be all at the same time.
So here I am, 29 weeks along with 11 weeks to go and have already experienced my first true lesson in motherhood. When life hands you... [insert your own metaphor here], you must smile, be strong, raise your head and move forward for the sake of your child even when it seems like the world around you is collapsing. Baby Boy G is relying on me after all to keep him safe and sound today, tomorrow, these next 11 weeks and for the rest of my life.
Thanks for reading.