Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
As I get older, I'm realizing that summers rarely slide by in the delightfully slow fashion I was so fond of as an adventure loving, energy filled kid. In fact, this one is just about over and I feel somewhat robbed of all the relaxation I was looking forward to.
However, time did stand still at one point...just for a minute.
Eight hours on a plane is enough to make anyone a little stir crazy and I arrived in
I've been unbelievably blessed with the role models I have in my family-people who have encouraged me and spoken wisdom into my life...opened my eyes and been there, no matter what, selfless and patient. (Rabbit trail-I think what this generation needs more than anything right now is an overflow of good role models.) My Nanny is by far, one of the most important women in my life and she's the kind of person I've always looked up to. Coming through those airport doors and seeing her standing there, waiting for me, with tears in her eyes and this expression of the utmost excitement and anticipation on her face floored me...made me see how much we'd both needed this visit.
As I walked towards her and my Granddad, my mind was flooded with all of the wonderful memories we've shared...and when I say flooded, I mean flooded. The sleepovers, the plays, the manic driving on winding country roads, the copious amounts of chocolate, the games, and all of the firsts...from day one she was there, with an anecdote or a teddy or, in more recent years, a cup of tea. It was one of those made for movie moments, where the magic is created entirely by the emotions of the heart-cheesy as that sounds.
Time did stand still just for a little while-long enough for me to lose myself in her arms...thinner than I remembered, but still bone-crushingly tight. Long enough for me to see my granddad's eyes welling up in my peripheral vision. Long enough for me to notice the warm smiles of onlookers and feel a swell of pride at being part of the reason for all this joy.
For the next ten days, I was in a surreal world. One where my every whim was catered for, where I was spoiled rotten by two of the sweetest people I know. And while the clothes and the candies were much appreciated...my fondest memories of that time are incredibly ordinary ones...the Scrabble game I won-no easy feat when you're playing with those savvy thinkers-or snuggling under blankets and watching old TV shows I'd missed while eating rich desserts. (And trying to ignore the high calorie count.) That funny old character, time, was showing up consistently...slowing down and allowing me to relive the days of my childhood, allowing me to reconnect and remember how to cherish even the simplest of things...then, out of nowhere, pulling me back into reality.
My Nanny's had cancer for years...and that battle is one I can't fight for her-as much as I'd like to. And telling her she looks beautiful, regardless of how much hair she has, bringing up her hot water bottle to help her sleep, giving her opinions on scarves...all of that had me feeling as though I was growing up incredibly swiftly. The little girl in me - the one that had always seen her as invincible- was thinking wait, what's happening-where have you gone, you didn't used to get tired that fast. How do we make you better, please tell me how. And saying goodbye at the end of those ten days, which, now that I think about it, truly flew by, was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I tried to make it quick...I gave her the letter I'd written the night before and one last hug and then I went off...but I kept looking back...kept seeing her searching for my face among a hundred different ones...and she never did spot me...but I saw her looking...and even now, as she's struggling with the pain of an illness we never dreamed she'd have, I like to think of her, still looking, always watching...seeing each klutzy thing I do, shaking her head and smiling, laughing at my friends and I, turning every precious second together over and over in her head and reflecting on all of the changes that we've been through...
She'll always be watching out for me, and while I want to be by her side to watch over her more than anything, I trust that there is one who is bigger than all things...who can outwit even difficult characters like time, and hold her close while I can't.