Monday, July 26, 2010

Needing Family


I have chosen to flip back and forth from then to now from post to post as I want to write about the past and how I got here but at the same time I want to write about now and about what I am feeling. So I am back to now.

Why am I doing this? Everything was sorted. It’s all perfect here in Spain, right? Wrong.

My grandmother went and shook everything up a bit... her legacy to me before she left us. “Hey Jen,” She called from beyond, “Don’t forget about where you are from... who you are... and your mum... you need to come home... at least for a bit... maybe longer...”

Grandma Jean

I had never really had anyone super close to me die. I have never been to a funeral. Amazing eh? I am 40 and have always been able to avoid funerals... When my Grandpa Ken died (really my Step-Grandpa, but the Grandpa I knew and loved) about 15 years ago, I didn’t find out for weeks after it happened as I was a student in Spain and we didn’t have phones or email... but it didn’t affect me much. Sure I missed him, but I knew he was in a better place and the hilarious memories of my legendary Grandpa Ken make me happy not sad...

I knew Grandma wasn’t well. I had known for a while. I sent her some of my homemade soap for Christmas. She was doing pretty darn well for a woman who was almost 93 years old, and still lived in her own little house! Grandma had been ready to go for a while. She was questioning death. It was her time.

But when the call came in from my mum March, this year, only 3 months ago, I was devastated instantly. I was sitting around the dinner table on a Sunday night with my not-so-little-one-anymore and my husband. After dinner, pre-dishwashing chat... I picked up the phone to hear my mum’s beautiful voice, even softer than usual. She told me that her mother had just passed away. I started to cry and I just couldn’t stop. It was like opening up the Hoover dam. It wasn’t that I was hysterical. It was just tears flowing out of me. I would plug it up, in order to last through the work day, but sometimes I couldn’t. If a client even just simply asked me “How are you?”, I had to walk away to hide the break-down. Considering that I had felt prepared for my Grandma’s death, I couldn’t understand my intense reaction. There had to be more to it... Could there be something lurking down inside me that got shaken up? I desperately needed to be with my mum.

Both my husband and my daughter new I wasn’t well, they saw that I just couldn’t hold it together. He told me to go, get myself back to Canada. We didn’t have the money for a flight. My mum paid my flight & Oscar stayed in Spain with Aurora. Aurora had school & gymnastics competitions and it she would be coming to Canada in the summer as she does each year and we just didn’t have the money for her to go with me this time.

I had fled Canada, running full-speed ahead, 7 years earlier, as a single mother with my 5 year old daughter... I sold everything, shipped the necessary and paid off all debt... leaving behind an unhappy, materialistic life as well as a well-paying job where 30-year-olds talked about “pensionable time” and came back to an ideal I had from my student days in Granada... the sun, the people, living day by day, the quality of laid-back life, the Mediterranean, Andalucia, the Spanish language, no-pressure, spontaneity, smiles, culture, music & dance, Flamenco, the food, the coffee, the life-style, the lack of age barriers, long lunches, the focus on group rather than the individual, the white villages, the Alhambra & Paseo de los Tristes, the tapas, having time for tapas, fresh fruit, meat & fish from the local market that you walk to...

Now 7 years later, my grandma died and all I desperately wanted was my family... to be near people that knew & loved me all my life.

So, I went to Canada for a few weeks to be with my mum, to Celebrate my Grandma’s life with the rest of our family, and to get restored.

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