Thursday, April 22, 2010

Heavy Heart

I have not had time to write these last few days.

My grandmother has been in the hospital since Monday night. I have been with her most of the days-time hours.

During that time, it seemed that my great-grandmother was also on her death-bed, but then it turned out today it was a misdiagnosis.

My heart has been heavy.

I left at 5 today, as one of my sisters was able to come down from Seattle to be with my grandmother. My dad and I had been with her most of the time until then. I did not want to leave her alone. She is almost 93.

I have been on the fence about what to do about my job for a while. I have known I did not want my current position and met with my Vice President last week. He was very generous with me and I have been weighing what he said since then.

However, this morning, during my grandmother's procedure, I realized my heart is just not there, and I did not want to stay.

I resigned today.

I have been there for nearly 6 years, so it was a hard decision.

Both of my grandmothers and my great-grandmother are now terminal.

My financial position is not great right now - I suppose that is all relative - but I just feel that I need this time with these women who have been so crucial to me in my own life.

Caregiving is not a respected "job" in our society. Much like motherhood, it is not valued, because it is not "profitable". But to me, there is no more important job in the world.

I have had some very intimate moments with my grandmother these last few days. Things that money truly could never buy or even recognize.

This is one area where the Muslim community rises so high above where we are as an American "Christian" society, that I could write a million pages on it and it still would not suffice.

I am very happy with our church. But the church needs to do better in this regard. We are such an individualistic society. We have completely lost our way.

I have been very strong all week. I have tried to be lighthearted and laugh with my grandmother. Tonight, I took a break and took my children to an Earth Day concert with African music. Perhaps that broke me. My children have missed me. My mother and their father have done a good job helping me this week. But the children are used to me. They were needy and did not behave their best. My daughter loved the music, but my son pouted. I did not have my usual patience.

I broke down and cried on the way home. It has been a long week. And I know there is more to come. Both my sisters live in Seattle, so the burden is mostly with my dad and me. I am glad to take it, but it is also exhausting.

I try to express to my children the importance of what I am doing, but I don't think they understand. I realized tonight at the hippie gathering that we were at that my children do not share all of my values. Perhaps I have done a poor job of expressing them, or perhaps there have been too many outside influences. But I really want them to understand that money is not the saviour of the world. Love is. Family is.

In the end, that is all there is. And if you don't know that, you will be lost - they will be lost.