Thursday, November 16, 2017
It started after a group of us came together to start the Purple City Alliance, which helps bring awareness and training about how to deal with dementia to businesses, making our city a dementia friendly city. I only attended the first few meetings (mom's care had become too involved to continue the meetings), but it is a great thing that our city is doing! The woman who started the Purple Boat Float actually sits on The DEANA Foundation's board now! :)
This year, dad was unable to make it to the boat float. My Aunt (his sister) was throwing a surprise 60th birthday party for her husband in Northern California, so my dad and all 5 of his siblings went up there for that event. I'm glad that he was able to go and have a fun weekend getaway with his siblings; they are a lot of fun when they are together! But, the boat float wasn't quite the same without him. I felt a little "off" this time around, I suppose because it was the first boat float where Mom hasn't been alive. Still, it was a beautiful event. It has grown considerably since our first year and I have no doubt that it will continue to grow more each year.
As always, I set up a booth for the foundation, giving information to anyone who might need caregiving help. I'm usually the only person running the show (along with Jeff, of course) but I was lucky to have a friend (and also board member) join me this time.
Something special about this year was having Mom's brother and sister-in-law join us. My sister, along with Mom's sister (Aunt Claudia) joined us last year, and Uncle Mike and Tia Tina joined us this year. My hope is to have more and more family members join us each year!
I was a little bit worried going into this boat float that I was going to fall apart. I had a really rough week last which included two big breakdowns (right when I thought I was getting better!) I was just recovering from all of those emotions when it was time for the boat float. Even though I wasn't feeling my absolute best (emotionally), I held it all together and made it through the night. It was a nice evening and I was so thankful to have family there with me. I don't think they even understand what that means to me right now, but family support helps me get through the days!
Monday, November 6, 2017
(click here), but the other part of my feelings about the night seemed more appropriate to share here.
First of all, I am so grateful for the wonderful family members and friends who came to support her in this big show. This is the biggest thing she has been a part of and whenever she performs, she always asks who is going to come watch her. I think it gives her confidence to know that she has her own cheering section of supporters and people who love her. Watching her on stage was an extremely proud mom moment for me. She has grown so much over the past year and I'm in awe of this little human that I had a part in creating!
After Aubrey's number, I couldn't help but to think about how proud my mom would have been to see her granddaughter up on stage. Mom always beamed with pride whenever she watched her own children perform. I have no doubt that she would have been there with us and would have been so incredibly proud of Aubrey's talent. So many emotions were stirred last night, and ever since; like the fading fire that has been stirred in the ash. Many feelings that I have been struggling with have been reignited. It's hard to put everything I am feeling into words. One on hand, I feel incredibly proud and joyful of Aubrey's accomplishments. On the other hand, it has awakened feelings of extreme sadness, hurt and even anger.
Nobody ever said life would be fair. Still, there are moments when the unfairness of it all gets to me. I try to be upbeat and positive, but that's not how it is all the time. I feel like I am such a fragile person right now, that I am going to break at any given moment. I think I hide it well, but there are some moments that I really struggle. It breaks my heart that my mom couldn't live to see this. It breaks my heart that Aubrey didn't have a grandma there to cheer her on; it breaks my heart more than words can say. There are other heartbreaking thoughts and feelings I have that are probably better left unsaid. It just plain sucks that my mom was cheated out of this part of her life; that we were all cheated of having her in it. I have lost more than just my mother. I've lost my cheerleader, my confidant, the grandmother to my children, my friend. I miss her more and more every day. I thought it would get better, but some days it only seems to be worse. I don't know when or if it will ever get any better. They say that it gets better with time, but the void will always be there. It will be there at every birthday party, every recital or show or game, every holiday; graduations and weddings and births. We will think about her every time, and we will mourn her all over again. Somehow I have to learn to live with this without falling apart every time.
Forgive me for my negativity. There are still many things to be grateful for. The people who showed up last night mean the world to me. I know my dad would probably rather be watching a football game, yet he comes to watch his grandkids and support them in their endeavors. My father-in-law made an hour drive to be there. My Aunt Sharon and Uncle Tim came. Other friends and family members came out as well and it means a great deal to me to have all of them there in support of Aubrey.
I try to imagine that my mom really is there watching. Maybe, just maybe, she's on the other side with her parents and with her friends, bragging, "That's my granddaughter!" I can imagine the smile beaming across her face and the loud cheering; the heavenly kiss upon Aubrey's cheek. Of course, I have no proof that this scenario could really exist. I have no idea what it's like on the other side or if they are allowed to peek in on us. All I can do is imagine and hope. It's the only thing that brings me comfort.