This is one of those “I’m here!” posts that you probably won’t have any idea how to respond to. I’m considering not writing it, but I need to update from out of the swirl of events here, if for no other reason that making lists is head-clearing. :) I feel I’m awash in a tide of bittersweet Time in the events of the past few days, and in learning to accept change and let go.
Rowen had her Assessment Day at kindergarten yesterday. Jared and I both went, and pulled around (in the carpool line! an alternate universe!), and the teacher opened the car door, and helped her out, and led her inside. Better that it was quick, since it wasn’t really the Official First Day, right? And all day yesterday, I kept starting up and saying, “Where’s Rowen?” before almost immediately remembering she was at school. At school! It was like my heart went wandering - I could almost physically feel the tug. Ele and I went to pick her up at 2:00 and we went for ice cream. I asked her about her day, and she showed me the papers she had made. They were testing her on things like writing her name, coloring, cutting, tracing, and she had done well. But the weirdest? I asked her what she chose for her school lunch, and she said, “I had pink milk, and a hamburger, and peaches and pears.” She is making her own choices about FOOD! Without me there to say, no, let’s not have 7 desserts today. And she did pretty well, I think. She starts school as an official Kindergartener on Monday. Time. Washing over me. And the bitterly sweet feeling of opening my arms to let go.
Tomorrow’s my birthday, which I only mention here because I get a new purse and possibly a date with my honey. I somehow still feel 25, so some OTHER lady must be having a birthday tomorrow, that isn’t me. Couldn’t be me. Time. And the sweet satisfaction of utter denial. ;)
And lastly and most sad, my dad called today to tell me that my dear Grandma Bills, my last living grandparent, passed on into Eternity early this morning. It wasn’t unexpected - her health had been failing in the past few weeks, and she was ready to go. So my sadness here is only to lose one of the great Trees of my life - one of those monumental figures that I learned from, and respected, and admire so much. I grew up living next door to them, and she taught me about cooking and sewing, and showed me by her faithful example what real-life love and determination are. She had been a school teacher, and was a legend among my high school friends for being the absolute toughest second-grade teacher imaginable. I will always love that about her. I feel Time washing over me. And the bitterly sweet feeling of opening my arms to let go. I’m kind of too raw tonight to do a long memorial of her, but I do think that my Grandpa, who passed in 2005, came to greet her and escort her Home, and the thought of them reuniting with the love of their lives for all eternity brings me some great comfort.
Grandma’s funeral is in Idaho, of course - on Monday, the day that Rowen begins Kindergarten. As I talked to my dad today, he said, “Grandma of all people would tell you that you belong with your girl on her first day of school. Don’t worry about missing her service.”
So suddenly, sitting here tonight, I’m not immortal, and not immune to change and the progression of days and weeks that have somehow become years. Suddenly I’m hard up against Middle Age, and my little baby girl that I just held in my arms is starting school, and the last living grandparent has departed this life. I suddenly look up and glance around, a little bewildered, wondering how this happened? Suddenly my mission of the past few years since becoming a scrapbooker, to savor and save, becomes more immediate and more real. Not from the fear of losing the beauty of today, but so that tomorrow, when today is gone, there is the looking back that gives the courage to turn and look ahead again. That’s all I’ve got for tonight. Savor and save.