I remember telling my parents I was 18 and pregnant. My dad was making pizza and covered in flour and simply replied, “It’s not the end of the world.”
My mom had been sitting with me for a long time as I cried and made life altering decisions.
She was good at sitting with people.
Considering all the reactions they could have had when their teenager tells them she is pregnant – I was pretty damn lucky to have such caring parents.
On Christmas Eve 2001, I brought Miles home to my parents’ house full of cats and love.
My mom was always very cautious to not overstep her boundaries as a grandmother. She often asked me if she was being too mom and if she needed to be more grandma.
She deeply loved Miles from the beginning. He was not the easiest baby. I was also young and didn’t know what the hell I was doing. She did.
Miles had two houses, three parents, six grandparents, 4 great-grandparents, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. This was both a blessing and a struggle – especially in December when we had to juggle his birthday and multiple holiday gatherings.
My mom was always sensitive about this time of year. She wanted to make sure that we weren’t spread too thin; that Miles got to celebrate his birthday with the most family there; and that we got to enjoy some time as our little family.
This year will be different without her.
On July 16, 2017, Casey brought Miles to the hospital to see grandma as she lay in a coma-like state, her soul trying to decide which way to go. Miles was there when my mom passed. Her heart rate and oxygen dropped in about 30 seconds. And there was nothing. The nurse listened to her heart and checked her pulse.
“Is she gone?” I asked.
We all cried and embraced one another. Miles, too. I never got tighter hugs from that dude than I did that day and the following weeks. He can tell when I am sad and I still get the occasional extra-tight hug.
I remember hugging Miles and saying, “She loved you so very much.”
She did. So damn much. She always wanted to be as involved in his life as possible. And questions… So many questions about how school is going for him, how his dad and other grandma are doing, about his friends… She was good at investing in relationships, especially with Miles.
He knows she loves him and she always will.
He will be 16-years-old on December 23rd.
I know, right?
And I’m sure this summer was a formative experience for him. A kid who is incredibly sarcastic and smart, forging his own path as a young man, and working to make sense of the world around him. He’s pretty wonderful.
Thanks mom, for being my mom and instilling the values that I now pass down to Miles. Thanks for housing us when he was first born. Thanks for being my sounding board when I don’t know what to do as a parent. Thanks for being there for Miles.
And thanks for being a really fun grandma. I know this is what he will remember.