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I’ve been distracted the last couple days.

Yesterday was my grandfather’s 96th birthday.  It’s the first of his birthdays to come and go since he passed away in January.

My grandfather was an amazing man.  He was a Methodist minister and served at many churches, but had landed in his 23 year long post before I was born.

He served as minister for my parent’s wedding.  He married my brother and SIL and he married hubby and me.

We used to spend weekends with Mommom and Poppop at the parsonage of the church. The church and parsonage were located on the edge of the cemetery and we used to play there.  I am told that when I was little I called the cemetery “Alphabet Park” because that was where all the letters lived.  At the top of the slight hill of the cemetery was a small area of benches where small summer evening services were sometimes held.  This area was also the highest elevation of the county and we used to sit up there and watch the lights of the nearby bridge.

We picked apples from the apple tree at the parsonage and made apple sauce with my grandmother.  We picked cherries from the cherry tree and grapes from the arbor.  We played with the old water pump that used to be used to fill buckets of water to be carried to the house, but had long since been disconnected and was fun to use in our pretend games.

Poppop spent a good portion of his Saturdays in his study meditating on his sermon for Sunday.  We knew to be quiet and my brother and I would often tell each other “shhh Poppop is memotating”

My grandmother was a continual provider of inexpensive wonderful things to do.  We helped her in the kitchen grinding beef for hamburgers, playing with dough made of flour and water and food coloring, and singing Barry Manilow into the tape recorder they had to be listened and laughed at years later.

The area became a peaceful place for me to go.  Hubby and I have a fight?  Up to the benches in the cemetery I would go.  Stressed? Up to the cemetery.  Sad?  Up to the cemetery.

But we’ve moved away and three of my grandparents are buried there.  It’s not so much of a peaceful place for me anymore.  When I go to the graves I still become upset when I leave because I feel this sense that I am leaving and abandoning them.  I know it’s not true, but I can’t help the thoughts.

Mommom isn’t doing well.  She’s 96 also and will be 97 in February.  She was married to Poppop for 73 years.  She has lost her will.  She is nearly blind and her hearing has been bad for years.  She sits in her chair every day, all day.  She only leaves it to go eat or when my father forces her to the doctor and for church.  She is depressed, for good reason, and is just fading away.  I expect that she will die of a broken heart.  Her decline is obvious every time I get up there to visit.  For her sake, I almost hope that she will join Poppop soon, as her desire to live seems to have left her when he died.

I’m 46.  I still have one grandparent alive.  I’m beyond fortunate to have had them for most of my life.  I’ve had my grandparents longer than hubby had his father.  I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that she won’t be here for long.  I’m trying to be ok with the realization that she seems to want to die.

I want to hold onto her.  I want her to stay.  I want her to be happy.

But she’s not.

And that makes me terribly sad.

But I also want her not to suffer.

But, I think she is.

And that makes me terribly sad.

Poppop suffered when he passed.

I pray for better for Mommom.