Anticipation

My baby is having a baby.

It’s been nearly 37 years since she changed my life. I gave up being a grandma when she had a female partner who didn’t want kids. Now that I’m retired, traveling, and exploring, she’s nine months pregnant with a honeymoon baby. She and her husband are over the moon with excitement and preparation. I wonder how this turn of events will change my life.

My kid is having a kid.

When I was pregnant, her head was tucked under my rib cage so securely, she couldn’t turn and had to be delivered by C-Section. I used to joke she had a mind of her own in there and didn’t want to work saying, “if you want me, come in and get me.” Her kid is breech so they are going to try to turn her on Wednesday…labor or a C-Section will likely follow. Will history repeat itself?

My girl is having a girl.

I didn’t want to know the sex of the baby I was carrying. We had a girl and a boy name picked out, but I secretly hoped it was a girl. Though we wanted a boy too, we didn’t want to press our luck, so she was an only. My girl wanted to know the sex as soon as it could be determined so she could remodel the office into a nursery. Her husband got snipped so my only will have an only.

My daughter is having a daughter.

I was a motherless daughter three months after I gave birth at 30. My father died nearly five years ago at age 85…this end of the circle of life is much more exciting. My rising excitement was tempered by my partner saying, “So do you know you’ll be 85 when she graduates from high school?” Dammit, I better start taking better care of myself so I can be there as her biggest cheerleader.

My Jessica is having a Madison.

It’s hard to believe that after all these years I’m finally going to join the Grandparents club. I’m flying back to North Dakota tomorrow to be there for the Wednesday turn procedure. If Madi is anything like Jes was, she’ll have a mind of her own about when and how she’ll come screaming into the world.

My baby is having a baby.

Life has had twists and turns over the years. She tucked me under her wing when I first left my marriage of 27 years to come out. I took care of her when she had emergency abdominal surgery. She nursed me while I recovered from a rotator cuff/bicep tear surgery. And I will be there for her as she brings new life into the world.

Full circle…cycle of life wonder.

Writing the Hard Stuff

I wrote fiction for NaNoWriMo 2019 because my memoir writing has been in a slump. During November, I noticed a February writing workshop in Portland, Oregon with two of my favorite memoirists, Pam Houston and Stephanie Land. Their topic? ”Getting the hard thing, the meaty thing, the painful thing, the unspeakable thing down on the page in a way that others can have emotional access to it.”

Interesting.

My mother passed 34 years ago succumbing to hypothermia on a frigid February North Dakota day. February also claimed the life of my step-brother who passed unexpectedly four years ago. The last straw was two years ago when my father passed on February 2nd. February has weighed heavy on my bones since my mother’s passing, but I once my father passed, the gloves were off. I dubbed the month FuckUary.

So when I saw the title of the workshop ”Getting It Onto the Page, Getting It Out In The World,” I didn’t hesitate. I signed up and made my travel plans.

I’m under no illusion that the skies will open and writing nirvana will commence, but I’m open to being a sponge. This weekend, I’m reclaiming February from the clutches of grief.

Regardless of the outcome, that will be a win in my book.

90 Years Loved

img_1915Last weekend I spent five days with my extended family in North Dakota. I’m always relieved to come home to Michigan this time of year because the weather never seems quite as bad as the frozen, windy North Dakota prairie.

My Aunt is now the matriarch of the family and the sole survivor of her generation. As my cousins and I celebrated her 90th birthday, I wondered how it was possible we cousins had gotten so old. With a 15 year spread and the oldest cousin being in his mid-70s, I’m the only one who isn’t retired.

Seems like yesterday we were chasing after our kids, yet in the blink of an eye we’re the grandparents, the elders. When you’re raising your family, the days seem endless but the decades fly by all too quickly.

When I was 18, I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of North Dakota. Now reflecting on the many trips I’ve taken over the decades to return to my Dakota roots, I am the person I am because of those roots.

Work hard. Love much.