Sunday, August 26, 2012

Doors open, doors close

On Wednesday I brought my oldest witch, Rosy, to college.

Born in a blizzard in 1994, I dropped her off in a vibrant, color filled place.

How do you leave  your child? How do you assess her safety? (How do you live without her?)

But, to her credit, Rosy made the experience shine. She was happy. She was secure. She was excited. And in turn, that excitement dulled the pain of driving home without her.

So there we were, stuck in traffic, two little witches in the back seat and a bear of a husband starting fights with other drivers.

Me? I was lost in thought. The seeds of a new novel growing like weeds.

My cell phone rings. It's my mother.

My grandmother had fallen and they thought she'd had a stroke. She was dying, they said.

I still had four hours of travel before I could get to her.

The cars stood still on the highway. I wanted to become a giant and walk over them, crushing them as I went, so I could get to her and say goodbye. Say goodbye... again. Goodbye to the child I raised. Goodbye to the woman who raised me. Too many goodbyes.

Finally, we arrived back in New Haven. My husband (who'd gone from Bear to Kitten because of the news), dropped me off at the hospital. So much dropping off. Dropping off my daughter, the EMT's dropping off my grandmother. Too many dropping offs.

I ran to her. Flew to her.

The doctors said to prepare ourselves. That she would not live.

She did, in fact, live. Only different now. No words make sense. Her thoughts are gone. Her memory? Gone. She's gone. So much leaving. My daughter leaving, my grandmother leaving.... too much leaving.

It wasn't a stroke. It wasn't an infection. It was the beginning of the end.

She's going to live somewhere else now. A nursing home for sure. The one place she didn't want to be.
She's confused. Thinks she's in prison. Thinks she's at a boarding house. Thinks we abandoned her.

She'll move into a small room. One we can decorate. Kind of like a dorm room.

My mind works in circles.

Doors open, doors close.


  1. The doors keep opening and closing in our lives. So much hope for our children while saying good-bye to our pasts. A time of melancholy, to be sure.

  2. This has me in tears. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

  3. So lovely and poignant. My throat has closed. Sending a hug, Suzy.

  4. Suzanne, I am thinking about you and your family. I can only imagine how complicated things are at this time. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know.

  5. I just got home from visiting my baby at his new apartment at his new college, so this post really hit home. Letting go can be so hard. The deeper you love, the more your heart aches for those no longer nestled in your arms. Someone once told me there is beauty in sorrow. I'm still searching for that beauty. I know you will continue to love your grandmother as much as you can and, on some level, she will feel your souls connect. And, your daughter? It will be beautiful, yet bittersweet, to watch her spread her wings and fly. (((hugs)))

  6. Suzy, I'm sending good thoughts and wishes your way. Just remember that some doors can open but never fully close. When I went off to college I made sure the door was ajar so I could run back to my mother whenever I needed her (or she needed me).

  7. Ooh, I feel your pain, too many leavings at one time.
    Be gentle and kind to yourself. your daughter will have many exciting adventures to share with you, and a new and beautiful phase of your relationship is about to begin. Visit her when you can, take her for a nice lunch and some shopping. I clutch to my heart the memories of those times with my mother, and they were so precious when she passed away that I think without them I would have faded. A white scarf and gloves that I would never have bought for myself (too extravagant) is one beautiful memory with her.

  8. I am late here...late to finding you again and late to knowing your daughter grew and your grandmother's pain. If one weren't twisted up with the other, either might be manageable, but all of it at once must leave you so very sore. Thinking of you.