Friday, September 28, 2012

At peace...sort of.

Yesterday was my paternal grandmother's birthday.  Yolanda Delfina Ponce de Leon Fernández turned 96 years old! Wow! She's in relatively good health. Lives with my dad in the northern region of Perú...Piura. I was able to Skype with her and chat some. It's harder these days to talk with her. I don't know if she can't hear me well or she doesn't understand what is being said, but none the less it was a nice conversation and the kids and I were able to sing happy birthday to her.

I'm very close to my grandmothers, both of them. This grandmother though I got to know a bit more because I lived with her during my teenage years from age 15 to almost 19. She was the one that taught me how to cook, clean, sew and take care of a man. :)  She always said..."The way to a man's heart is through his stomach", meaning I needed to learn to cook well if I was to find my way into a man's heart. funny, but I am a pretty mean cook and my man loves that and loves me.

When I left my grandmother and moved back to the States I missed her horribly. I would think about never seeing her again and would just cry. I would think about her dying and my heart would ache and I thought I would never be able to bear it. Then I would think about losing my parents and Niagara Falls would open up and the tears would come gushing out. I was only 19 ya know.

Well fast forward 15 years and I don't cry uncontrollably about losing my grandmothers or parents. Don't get me wrong, if I think about it I do get teary-eyed and sad but I don't feel so horrible like I used to. You see being a parent changes your perspective on life AND being a parent to a kid with CF really, really, REALLY changes your perspective on life. It makes perfect sense that my grandmothers should die first, then my parents, then me, THEN my kids. Life however has thrown a monkey wrench into what we all believe to be the proper cycle of life...the old die first, and lastly the young. Not so much so now. Stupid CF!

I was talking to friends last night about the day we got the call that something was not right with Andrea's health. I recalled all the details from the phone call with the doctor, to calling my husband to break the news, to picking Andrea up from daycare to rush her to the hospital to finally going home and making the dreaded phone calls to family to give them our bad news. A day later I called these friends and I remembered how difficult it was to tell them because we are more than friends...we're family and Andrea loves them like a second set of parents. As I told mama #2 the news I broke down and told her I didn't want to bury my child...of course she broke down too and we had to continue our conversation later when we weren't crying so much. That was 11 years ago. I was telling them last night how my perspective about death has changed from when I was 19 to now and CF plays a huge roll in that and oddly--in a very strange way--it's a good change...'s good because I appreciate life so much more. I accept that the old should go before me. My grandmothers are both in their 90s and should die before my child, they should die before their own children, and before me. There's a peace within me about the loss of my grandmas, my mom and my dad and I'm thankful I have that peace. I can't imagine still feeling like I did when I was 19 about their deaths plus deal with my feelings I have today about the possibility of burying my child. SIGH!

BUT It's because of that peace I am able to deal with todays feelings and fears of the what ifs CF has brought into our world and ultimately I'm thankful of that. A little peace is better than none at all and "it is only when we are calm in our hearts that we can spread a little peace ourselves."

Mama Yola and me in Lima, Peru - 2011

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