Have you ever had one of those moments that took your breath away, from the sheer heartbreaking ordinariness of it when it is anything but?
Recently Husband lost his Grandmother. She was 94 and had been having health problems for a long time. She and his Grandad had been married 67 years. Can you imagine? It breaks my heart just thinking about it.
They both accepted me into the family with open arms and they absolutely adore the boys, their first (currently only) Great Grandchildren. At the wake, which Grandad-in-law request the boys attend, (for his sake more than anything, I imagine) I had several comments along the lines of ‘so these are the boys she was so proud of’.
I really have come to love them like an extra set of Grandparents of my own.
Something happened the day before the funeral that hit us both like a brick to the face. It seriously left us completely off our game.
It inspired this post, because sometimes, it’s not the big things at all, but the littlest of things that can get you when you’re grieving.
We went to see Grandad-in-law; he was glad of the company leading up to the big day. We sat in the living room and chatted as per usual. Gray had already thrown us both a bit, by declaring that no-one could sit in the empty chair in the corner because that chair was for ‘Big Nanny’. (Great = big to him)
When Grandad-in-law went to make us cups of tea, husband got my attention. He was shaken. He pointed out the desk calendar that always sits on the fireplace mantelpiece, it is one of those old fashioned wooden block ones, which you simply rotate the blocks to change the date.
The date read August 25th.
It had not been changed since the day she passed.
We were both overcome by this simple little thing. It was, in some ways, worse than the empty chair because it was a reflection of the enormous loss which Grandad must be feeling. His world had stopped turning on that day.
Great. Now I’m crying on my keyboard again.
This was originally going to be a post about grief. About how the little things get you. And it has been, so far but I knew I couldn’t leave it that way. I couldn’t end it on such a sad note. I have been reading some wonderful blog posts lately and one or two which have caught my eye (I wish I could remember where!) happened to be about gratitude. About cherishing the moment.
I realized this was perfect. The little things; yes, they get you down but they also pick you up like nothing else.
So here are a few of the little things that pick me up, that I never want to forget:
The way my youngest, Rhyd, will reach for me and rub his face against mine when I get close.
The way my eldest, Gray, still comes to me and only me to comfort him if he’s feeling shy or nervous in front of people.
How they love to cuddle each other and will sit and laugh hysterically at each other for no reason.
The way Gray will always insist on a cuddle and kiss from me before bed, no matter who is doing bedtime.
How Rhyd lights up when he sees Daddy enter the room.
When Gray climbs all over Daddy and laughs hysterically as Daddy yells for ‘help’.
The way Rhyd will smile up at me with utter adoration when he sees me smile at him.
How Gray will get so excited and happy over something as small as coming home with a treat for him from the shops.
The way it feels when we just go for a walk as a family, no agenda and no schedule.
Those days when we all cuddle up on the sofa for a cup of tea, biscuits, and cuddles with a Disney movie. (A bottle of milk for Rhyd, of course!)
The way there is no doubt in my mind that Husband and I will celebrate our own 67th wedding anniversary one day, with Great Grandkids of our own.
Do you have any little things you find particularly powerful? Any special moments you want to remember forever? Let me know in the comments. xx