We’ve had a crisis this month (defining crisis as a time when a difficult or important decision must be made). Our oldest daughter and her husband decided to move out of our shared abode, relocating 50 miles away with my four grandbabies.
In the *real world* 50 miles is nothing. If we were urban dwellers, they’d merely be on the other side of town. In northwestern Colorado it feels like half a continent, at least in the winter.
But that’s not where the trauma lies… I’ve spent the last four and a half years interacting with my grandbabies every day. I’ve babysat while #2, #3, and #4 came home from the hospital. My life is intertwined with theirs, and having them absent is an alarming shock to the system and triggers fear that they will forget me.
I cried for four days when I found out they were leaving. Then I ran away. Literally.
I corralled my oldest and youngest sons in the car and headed south, on the pretext of doing book research (they were willing abductees.). I did do book research, but mostly I needed distance from my emotions. From Gallup, New Mexico, we headed to Phoenix, the home of one of my dearest friends, who took us in and offered sanctuary.
For a few days I was able to separate myself from reality, for the most part.
Once we crossed the county line on the way home the tears started again.
The house (the part we don’t inhabit, except for the kitchen) is empty.
I cried most of the day yesterday.
I was doing OK today until my dad came to check on me, and then he cried.
But tears are not fatal, or toxic. Tears serve a purpose: they help us bend and adapt to the changes life demands.Today I did yoga, and I reminded myself that those who survive successfully are those who bend, those who flex, those who adapt to the crap life throws their way.
It could be worse.
It could be better.
It is what it is.
And so I will bend, I will flex, I will adapt. And I will — in the words of one of my dear friends who suffered a loss I cannot even comprehend — I will not allow my response to this situation to define my life going forward, because I have half my life left to live.
I can bend or I can break.
I choose to bend.