I’m 38 years old. 39 in just a few months. And I am one of the lucky ones.
When I was born not only did I have 4 grandparents, I also had 3 great-grandparents. They all lived close by and were in my life for a pretty significant amount of time.
Like I said, I was one of the lucky ones.
Fast forward 38 years – I, incredibly, still have 3 of these beautiful humans in my life.
They left the City/Westchester a while back for the other Jewish state. I would travel to Florida multiple times a year to spend time with them. I never took for granted how fortunate I was.
In the last two years, due to goddamn Zika – I haven’t been able to visit. We traveled there in March of 2016 with two month old baby Harper.
Everyone got to meet and spend time with her.
I have not been back since.
I don’t know about you. And I don’t know if it’s only recent, but any time I hear Cat Stevens, “Father and Son” I start weeping. Ugly crying. Heaving.
Now, I’m not an overly emotional person. And maybe it only changed once I had children – but holy shit. This song gets me every. single. time.
For years I would call my grandmothers multiple times a week. I was the first grandchild – on both sides – and had a very special bond with each of them. Before I was married I had all the time in the world. Then I had one baby. Time was a little less available. But I was still pretty good about the calls. Then, as happens, life gets busy.
We all know the excuse.
It has the luxury of being true.
But nonetheless – important things become “less important” – and not that they are, but there are just so many hours in a day.
Recently – because time has a strange way of sneaking up on us – they have gotten older. And with age, comes other things. Other things I’m unable to (won’t?) write, as tears well up in my eyes.
The visits haven’t happened.
The calls happen less frequently. And when they do, they are…different.
I mean to call more. I want to call more.
My parents and cousins’ visit down south just last week sounded hard. Really hard.
I started looking into flights. How can I get there? I must get there. I need to get there.
But with three babies. And a new business. How? What are life’s priorities. How do we make it all work?
As I watch my babies get older. And see my age in numbers rise at a hyper-speed rate, I intellectually understand what this means. But can’t quite emotionally allow myself to get there.
I just got off the phone with my Grandmother.
The call was short. Too short.
I don’t know that she knew who I was.
I’ve not been here, in this space, before. I don’t know how to do this. I love them so much. There has never been a time in my life I’ve given myself a moment to think what life would look like without them (as the “them” I’ve always known). In my mind – we are all frozen in time, on this earth – and things will just continue to exist the same way they always have. Because. They must. There’s no other reality I’m willing to see.
How is life so beautiful and just so painful?
I don’t have a final line to leave you with.
I guess, just, call your loved ones.
If not for them, for you.