yesterday’s post was getting too long, and I was getting too tired. There’s a bit more, though, as I didn’t quite make it out the door. 🙂
I’m halfway down the steps, when Bea calls down to me, she’s got her bag and is leaving, too. “Alice, is it your birthday on Thursday?”
I stop. I can’t speak. I can’t say no. I can’t say my birthday is on Friday. I can’t say that last year my birthday was on Thursday, this year, Grandpa’s birthday is on Thursday. I turn my head to look at her, and I shake it no, slowly. And then I start to sob; giant, body shaking sobs that I can not control.
“Come on,” Bea turns, and is heading back up the stairs to her office.
I shake my head again, and manage to gasp out, “I’m okay, I’m fine. Don’t worry.”
But Bea shakes her head at me, and tells me that we will either stay on the stairs or go back to her office. “I can’t let you leave when you are so upset, and I upset you. You can’t drive like this.”
So I follow her up the stairs, and I sit back down, in my spot. And I sob, and sob.
Finally I tell her it’s Grandpa’s birthday, and he’s gone, and everyone is being difficult, and Ryan forgot, and my mom doesn’t care what I want, and I just miss him, and my grandma left me, and I needed her here, and I tell her about my grandpa and who he was, and what kind of man he was, the things he did, how he acted.
He liked to fish, to be in his boat. He liked to be in nature, to be in the fresh air, but he liked to have people with him. He always brought treats, donuts, coffee, candy bars, whatever, for those trips for whoever he was taking with him. He did whatever he could to take care of people. If he saw a need, he would help. He cared about people, more than anything. He saw the person, not accomplishments, or what a person did, or didn’t do. He could learn anything, he was that smart. And he remembered things, everything. He was at every recital, school play, show, award, I ever had. The dashboard of his truck used to be decorated with pictures I drew him, he would tape them down. He was just a good guy, too good for most people to really believe. Even at the end, he was telling me it would be okay, he would see me in Florida when I came to visit. But I was afraid I wouldn’t see him. So even though my mom had told me not to, because I should not upset him, I told him what I wanted to say anyway, what I wanted him to know…..how much he meant to me, how much I loved him. Because I was scared I wouldn’t get another chance.
Bea smiles, it’s a sad smile, but a smile. “So you had a real, authentic conversation with your Grandpa, you told him how you felt, and so he knew. And you know he knew, because you told him.”
I pause then, thinking. “Yeah, yeah. He knew. He knew that he was so special to me. More than any words could really say, the best grandpa, the best friend, that I always knew he was there, that I always felt loved by him, that I loved him so much. Yeah, he knew because I told him.”
“I think you should do something on Thursday to celebrate, or maybe celebrate isn’t the right word, to honor, to remember your grandpa. I understand, it makes sense not to want the big party this year, but you and hubby and Kat can do something to celebrate your day and to remember Grandpa. It might be a few years before you’re ready for a big party. Or maybe never. You can start a new tradition. Whatever you want, it’s your day.”
I’d managed to get the giant sobs down to little mini sobs, but I look at Bea! and start sobbing again. I wave my hand helplessly, and then, “hubby forgot. He just forgot all about it all. He has no idea.”
Bea sits for a moment. She seems to be thinking, weighing her words. “Are you sure Hubby has really forgotten? It just doesn’t seem like him, to forget something so big.”
I cry harder, and choke the words out, “it’s his award, he’s too involved in his award to realize that it’s my grandpas bday, and that it’s probably a terrible day for me. He’s not getting it, or remembering, he’s only he seeing his award. And I don’t blame him. He should be excited. I should be excited.”
“But you’re hurting. Do you want to do something here, on Thursday, for Grandpa’s birthday?” Bea asks.
I shake my head. I was going to bake a pie for Thursday, and have us eat pie; me, hubby, Kat. Grandpa always wanted pie over cake. I can’t very well bring pie to therapy, though. Oh, Bea has a sweet tooth and would likely be fine with pie but I am not about to eat pie there. I can’t go running to the bathroom there, and I can’t just not……so, I shake my head.
“I can bring a candle, and we can keep a candle lit during our session. It can be something simple, like that. Okay? I’ll bring a candle, and then we can see how you feel on Thursday. How about that?”
It hit me, again, how much she cares. How did I manage to get this blessed, this lucky, to find a therapist that cares about people this much?
“Okay,” I agree. And then, because I really am calmer, now, again, I gather my bag up and start to stand.
“I’m glad you told me about your Grandpa. I knew this anniversary was coming up, but I didn’t know how painful it really was for you, or how much it was hurting you, or effecting you right now. I’m so sorry he’s gone, but I’m also really glad you had him,” Bea tells me. It’s just the right thing to say.
“Thank you,” I tell her, “really, thank you.”
We say our “good-byes” and “see you Thursdays” for real this time, and I head out to my car.
I’ve done more crying in the last two hours than I’ve done in the last year, and I’m tired now, wiped out and worn down, but I feel more peaceful, too. Maybe there is something to this crying thing, after all.