It is kind of crazy to me how I can feel on top of the world one day, and then the next, feel like the rug was just ripped out from under me. Such is life I guess. Our family recieved some not so great news about my 90 year old grandfather today (who if you have read THIS post, you know where he is in my world).
I was strong at the hospital when my Aunt told me what the Doctor said.
I had been hanging out with my 87 year old grandmother in the waiting room. My grandmother doesn’t hear so well, so I was writing down and explaining to her about being invited to be part of Team Trakkers (WOOT). When I really want to be sure she understands me, I write it down. This has caused a lot of scrambling for paper if we forget to bring some. I started this after she went to the store one time and my Aunt asked her to pick her up some tacks, and she came back with Tampax.
See, she kind of hears things, but she doesn’t always get the whole story.
Anyway, I looked up as my Aunt walked in, and I just had to look into her eyes to know it was bad news. Then I watched as my grandfather shuffled behind her, his shoulders slumped, his head down. The twinkle gone from his eyes. His face was pale. He looked defeated, something I never thought I would ever see.
I swallowed hard and took a deep breath, and asked my Aunt what was up.
She told me the news, and I will just say wasn’t very good. The worst part was, her eyes told more, but I didn’t ask. I could see the questions in my grandmother’s eyes and I knew she didn’t hear and didn’t understand exactly what was going on, but she knew it was bad. I reached for some paper and she put her hand on mind and shook her head, “Later,” she said.
So, we walked out the door, there really wasn’t much else for us to do. To the people in the waiting room, we were the ones who got the bad news, the 4 broken people trying to find their way to the car. I hugged Pop as we walked out, and he kissed the top of my head, just said, “Oh my Mandy girl.”
Once alone in my truck, I was numb. I was jagged. I had loud screaming crying fits wondering why it took them so FING long to figure this out, followed by long brooding silences, followed by more screaming crying fits (it was all very Sybil like).
All I wanted to do was go home and curl into a ball. That actually sounded like a perfectly wonderful idea. Maybe I could stay up there for a few days. Yeah.
But as I drove, I realized that would be a complete dishonor to my grandfather.
No. That is not who I am. I don’t do the easy thing. I never have. I am my grandfather’s girl, and she doesn’t just sit around and mope.
So when I got home, I ran.
I quickly got dressed and headed outside. It was 10 degrees and dark, and I didn’t care. Bring it. Bring the snow. Bring the ice and rain and sleet. I don’t care. I ran past the post office and charged up the hill, the salty tears freezing to my face, my eyelashes sticking together from the cold.
My breath came out in short white puffs. I ran past the coyotes howling on the hill behind our neighbors house. I ran through the “dark section,” where there is one light out and your mind plays these crazy tricks on you. I ran past the many houses that are dark and empty and seem so lonely, and I ran past the few houses that are lighted and full of life. I turned around and did it again and again and again until I felt “right”.
I am not sure where I would be without running. It resets my head in a way nothing else does. Running tonight helped me to see that no matter what happens, no matter what the doctor tells us tomorrow, whether it is good news or bad news – I need to spend as much time as possible with my grandparents. They are really special, and you never know when some bad news might turn your Superman into a regular ole normal human.