What I know now.....What I know now......
is to take things more easily and breathe, enjoy the ride....aaahhh.....breathe again, and again....
When we visited my grandparents the first time after my daughter was born, we drove almost an hour and a half, quite a journey in the early days! Five months old, my Nana and Papa were of course delighted to see her and hold her!
(And hear all about her latest accomplishments...)
My Nana (in spite of her arthritis) had crocheted this beautiful colorful blanket of green-pink-yellow-and-blue for Courtney,
and a pretty little white sweater
"almost too small" and still wearing it, two years later.
It was on that visit that my Papa said to me, "I can't believe you didn't go to New York to pursue the theater."
I had to say something for myself, gently from my heart.
I knew this was his way of saying, "I love you. I'm proud of you, you're talented! I thought for sure you'd do it!
Why not?" And if I had heard him say such a thing years earlier, perhaps I would have...gone...despite my fears of moving 3,000 miles away at such a young age. I told him I loved my singing and acting, doing the musicals, commercials and plays as I was growing up. AND being a mom was my dream come true above the rest. I exclaimed, "That was years ago!" (yet still happily pondered the thought and bet him... I'll be in the theater, again. Someday. I was called upon by my grandfather to share from my heart, how much I loved being a mom, the Stay at Home Mom I always wanted to Be!
During this visit, my Papa also opened himself up to me,
in another way he never had before. He began sharing about
his younger days with my grandmother; how they drove out to California just 17 and 22 years old, with not much money yet how they did it. He spoke of the trip with a smile on his face and I could see the young man--carefree, in love and happy.
Little did any of us know that just two years later, this summer, I'd be doing the same. But driving the other way. He cautioned me and said, "California's the best state! You won't find another quite so good to live in!" Yet when I got vulnerable with him, and asked about his being concerned for me, he relaxed and said, "Yeah, I want the best for you. I want you to be happy." I smiled contentedly. (When I got here, my papa said, "how beautiful North Carolina must be..."
I was always close with my grandmother, an amazing woman.
Full of compassion and love, and very beautiful. My grandparents had divorced 'back in the days' when you didn't hear about that quite so much. It was the year my mom graduated from high school and ironically, got married herself.
I never knew until that day, two years ago, what had happened or how my grandfather had felt. I learned of the day he walked in on my grandmother at work, having lunch with her boss and his touching her knee...and her laughing giddily. Lo and behold, My grandma, had fallen in love with another man! It seemed so adventurous, and daring of her...
yet I imagined she fell madly in love with him (My grampa!),
to risk it all! She never spoke of what had happened other than that Papa was "always at the theater, watching movies for hours and never home"... yet what she did say that this time, she was married "til death do us part". Looking back, I can remember seeing sadness in my grandmother's face as she spoke, and was looking down, touching her wedding ring.
Papa was sharing his feelings as a younger man, a father of three, the heartbreak and the tragedy.
He was being real with me. He opened up his heart; through all the layers, I could feel and see, understand so much. Going different ways can be harmonious and amicable yet still can cut so deep. I now understood why my Papa often said, when I was growing up, that he didn't want to go (to the play, to my voice recital...) if she was going to be there.
It's amazing how not just one generation can be hurt by not reconciling and moving on. They both had found a new love that fit them so well....
I have known my grandfather to be a kind and loving man. Though in the last few years, he's had times of anger, bitterness, becoming unglued!
What do I know now? What we may not feel at one time in our lives could very well creep up on us. It's a natural part of life to sort through, contemplate,
reflect, learn, grow... My papa is nearly 85 years old...and perhaps the anger he felt half his lifetime ago
came around to be let go. My papa wasn't trying to teach me 'something', he was opening himself up and I learned....
the time is NOW, say your truth.
I have only myself to live with and look back on the journey with. It's frightening and it's liberating. The Truth.