Giving People Their Flowers While They Can Still Smell Them

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This last week or so has been crazy. I haven’t really posted just because I have been going through a lot. Where do I start?
Well, last week I was given troubling news about the state of my Nana’s (maternal grandmother) health that really fucked me up. Without getting into too much detail out of respect to her and my mother, my nana just wasn’t doing well. When I talked to her on the phone she sounded so out of it and not like herself. My mom realized this and told me but I was in denial. “No, she sounds like she always does just a little more tired, she’s tired is all” I tried to convince her as well as myself. I have always struggled with the idea of my loved ones dying. Growing up, the only person I can remember experiencing their passing away was my great-grandmother on my mom’s side but she had a lived a full life and passed peacefully in her home. I wasn’t able to go to the funeral because we are the only ones in my family who live in Vegas and my parents couldn’t afford for all of us to go because I had just gone the summer before. My mom went and I just remember being sad but happy I was able to spend one more summer with grandma Mae-Lee.

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Fast forward to now and I’m really crippled when it comes to the idea of handling people passing away. I think I almost like to try to trick myself into believing that everyone will live forever and obviously that’s not true. I will admit throughout the years I have not been the best granddaughter, or cousin, or sister, or aunt, or even daughter. I haven’t called enough. I went out to Ohio for a little over two months and if I’m being truthful I was probably over it within 3 weeks. I’m being honest with myself because I felt so shitty thinking back to those feelings this past week. Like wow, can I get the fuck over myself and realize that every chance I get to go to Ohio and spend time with my family, especially my grandparents is a blessing. I’m not important enough nor busy enough to not take at least 5 minutes out of my day to call my grandparents and at least talk to everybody else once a week or so. This world and even our country are in some crazy times and I refuse for something to happen to any one of my family members and I can’t remember the last time I called them. The feeling of dread and sadness that overcame me when I saw my mother crying because my nana wasn’t doing well and I thought to myself “I haven’t talked to her in a week or more” is something that I can’t experience ever again.

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I guess I’m just writing this to say, we are never too busy to make time for our loved ones and we should always try make sure everyone we love knows that. At times, I can be self-important and this is the year I’m trying to work on not being that way. We never know when it’ll be too late. At the same time, if a loved one does pass away remember that they knew you loved them, and you can’t always internalize guilt regarding their passing away. They would want you to be happy.

 1,801 miles

the distance between me & all my family that i love.

It’s not a ride down the street

Or even a 5 hour drive

It’s plane rides (which give me anxiety)

It’s missed birthdays, school recitals, football & basketball games.
It’s missed visits to assisted living facilities & only being to able to visit the Hospital via phone call.

“May i speak to the nurses station?”
It’s trying to visit when I’m in town

But Cleveland is a 45 minute drive & 

I don’t have my license yet. 

It’s not wanting to ask your grandpa

For a ride to visit your Nana 

Because he has chemo this week. 
So you stay as long as you can

When he can give you a ride

(but not too late because

he hates driving in the dark)
It’s feeling trapped in the small town life

When you’ve been there two months…
But once you leave

you don’t know if the next time 

You’ll be back is for a funeral
It’s a phone call that says 

“I’m tired” and your heart sinks

To the bottom of your feet
It’s not being able to hug

Your Nana when she’s tired of

Fighting for her life. 
It’s wishing you could do more

Or say more, or stay more, 

stay longer or ask her to.
But how can you ask someone to

Stay longer when longer is never enough?

-when you move away from home | guilt