I try really hard to be an enjoy the moment kind of girl. I try really hard not to wish my life away, always trying to rush nap time, bedtime, the weekends, vacations ect. I'm not always successful but I try hard to enjoy life's everyday moments because I have always noticed that they pass rather quickly. I am the mom that is sad that school starts back tomorrow and that before I know it, in this new year, both of my children will be turning another year older. Yes, I am that mom that secretly (or not so secretly) cries the night before my kid's birthday because that means they are getting older....it is a happy/sad cry of course because I am so thankful for every year but sad they are moving further away from being my baby. Back to the point, even though I consider my self to be "stop and smell the roses" kind of person there are many moments when life kind of just hits me. It stops me in my tracks and I think to myself, "I can't believe I'm married with two children. Seems like I was just a little girl dreaming of these days." It is hard for me to believe I have been out of high school for over 10 years, (but if I am being honest those were the days I tried to soak up the least) or over 7 years since those super fun college years. Seems like my wedding was just yesterday, I've always felt like I didn't get enough time in that dress. And gosh, I remember every day of both pregnancies. I was that pregnant girl that was never "ready." I liked having those babies in my belly, I savored the pregnant days and the days before the changes their deliveries brought.
The Tuesday before Christmas my Grandmother had to be taken to the hospital with some seriously scary health issues. She has been in the hospital ever since and in and out of ICU twice now. Her first day in ICU I drove up for the day to be at all the visiting times. Having to leave the hospital was really hard that day with so much uncertainty. As I left her room from my last visitation I think I had already told her I loved her 10 times but the last time I said it, I was closing the curtain and this time she replied, "I love you more." Yes, I lost it. Yes, I am crying now as I type this. She tells my girls this all the time but it was the first time in a long time that I had heard her say it to me, like that. It is hard to explain exactly but on my quiet drive home her words rung in my ears and then it hit me, how did we get here so fast?
I remember exactly where on the highway I was when this question literally slapped me in the face. How is it possible that my grandmother is at an age where my family sits nervously in hospital waiting rooms. It hasn't been that long since we came to "live" with her for the summers and slept on horrific blue futons with bright pink bunnies. It hasn't been that long since I was the child, even as a teenage, that loved to spend the night at grandmother's house and now I have two children that beg to spend the night there. I mean werent we just gathered in a dressing room buying my wedding dress? And the day she officially became "Great-Grandmother", when she walked in the room during an unpleasant contraction grabbed my hand and said "I am so proud of you. Grandmother loves you so much," that really was yesterday, not four years ago. How could all of this passed me by so quickly? When did we get here and how could I be so unprepared for this?
Recently after knee replacement surgery, my Granddaddy had to come to the realization that it was going to actually take him more than just the day he had expected to recover. You have to really know him and his positive, love life attitude to appreciate that he told us, and I quote, "I'm not sure what happened. I just woke up one day and I was old."
That was what I felt driving home in that moment. Like I had just woken up and realized my grandparents, my grandmother, is old. In that moment, I longed to go home, pack up my girls and camp out at their house for days spending as much time with their great grandparents as possible. The I realized that our next camp out will not be taking place any day soon, I am confident we will have the chance to do this again but it will not come soon enough.
Do you ever have those moments where you just wake up and say wait, how did I get here so quickly??? I think I have those moments more than the normal person. I think the normal person just thinks 'that's life.' They would be correct, that is life. I just wish 'that life' happened a little slower sometimes. I bet my grandmother is feeling like 82 years went by pretty fast too right about now. Thank God for vivid memories.
p.s. After several setbacks, my grandmother was moved out of ICU again yesterday and finally seems to be improving. We still have a very long road to go but I am so thankful there is a road ahead.