He was her first grandchild. He was due to be born on her birthday . He decided to make an early entrance. Unpredictable ..or so it would seem, and yet in the grand scheme of things, it feels like the masterpiece of a perfect plan .
Zach made his entrance on March 21st..and Mum made her exit from this present life on March 21st. They are eternally entwined these two.
The poetic and eternal connection between these two shall remain. Death days and birth days.
My mind has been going here, there and everywhere these days. More than the usual popcorn activity that is generally happening.
Betwixt them there is a tearing apart, and a joining that staggers and confounds. The in between of things.. unfinished, and yet halted for now. It is not finished . There is more.. there will be more. We are eternal .
Connections and interactions with other humans are what makes this life bearable, even worthwhile . That sounds rather morose but at the base of it it is a vital reminder that life moves at breakneck speed especially as we age, not that we are of course . Deniability can be a comfortable place to exist, except for when it’s not. Let’s live in fantasy land a tad longer why don’t we ? We might miss the joy and heartache that will encapsulate today . There is usually the two, and zoning out and pretending it is not so , does not make it so in my opinion.
I have mused more than a few times about how to spend my last day if I knew I was doing just that . What would be important..vital to me. Who would be in the room, and are there ” bucket list” items I would want to accomplish on this the last day?
Perspective and timing. What if the 24 hour day could be slowed that last time, what could fit in?
It was not happenstance that these two people were born on one another’s birthday, and that my son Zach’s Grandma, died on his 29th birthday.
The day he was born, she was there. He was her first grandchild. She had woken up my Nanny Denzin, her Mum who was living in her home at the time, got my Dad up, who was knee deep with Parkinson’s disease, piled them in the car at 3:00 am, and set off for Cleveland, Ohio. She was not fixing to miss this important arrival . It was a 4- 5 hour drive. It was not a little undertaking, but it was a determination of this soon to be Grandmother to make sure she was there when her first grandchild cried out his first gasp of air. This determination and love was at the crux of who my Mother was. I see this same determination and love in the being of Zach.
The labour was intense. I had a bout of pure petrifying fear when it came time to push him out into the world. I said to my husband, ” I don’t want to do this ..”
He, I am sure tried to gather the plethora of correct words to say to me whilst realizing I was on the precipice of oblivion, and realizing this task I found myself in was far greater than had been anticipated. This baby was coming whether I wanted it to or not… this was happening.
Courage needed to be bolstered . My Mum aided in that . She had been there . She said …
” it will be worth it.”
I have carried these words thereafter. Such a simple phrase, and yet fraught with importance.
He is here.. ” Zachary John”. My life would be forever changed . I had no idea what I was doing, and it horrified me later to think that the nurses and doctors were letting this new ” wet behind the ears” couple bring home a helpless fresh baby boy. Yikes..
Alone time, and gathering their thoughts in their own worlds is something both Grandma and grandson would both share . Finding humor in the mundane, and solace on their own, and yet the unspoken nuance of friendship and loyalty was ever present . They just “got” each other . Such a gift , a priceless one. Death does not sever this, but it does make the missing worse.
Mum loved hockey . My brothers growing up had played hockey. She was an avid fan, and could be a vocal enthusiast when addressing the referees during her sons, and grandsons’ games. For someone who was more on the quiet, and sometimes shy side, hockey and her kin brought out a voracious voice that would not be squelched . She was downright embarrassing to sit beside in the stands.
Reminiscing on it now makes me smile with pride and love for her . She sewed banners, had a bear with a hockey jersey on as a mascot, and dressed in appropriate garb with team colors on her person. Team spirit was something she had in gargantuan amounts .
Years back while attending my twin brothers hockey games from towns near and far, we would ” haul ass” in the baby blue station wagon with wood paneling , listening to the ” 8 Track” play Abba , and singing along as we went. The car smelled of potato chips and hockey sweat. A unique combo, and somehow not as unpleasant as it sounds.
Abba still evokes so many wonderful memories. Numerous other events have had this musical foursome as it’s background.
Car pooling with the Scheufele kids in Colorado singing as we bumped along on the way to school. The 8 Tracks became the cassette tapes, which became the CDs, which became Spotify or Google play ..
A lifetime of getting to know what made the other tick. Our family lived away from Grandma, but we made made the pilgrimage in the little red van at least once a summer . It took two days to drive there from Colorado . The kids knew it was a long drive, but they didn’t care, because they were going to Grandma’s house, and she had a pool. She also loved when they visited. There is something so different when you stay under the same roof as your people.
They were there for each other through the years. This relationship so blessed my heart to watch.
She just knew how to talk to him. A relationship between a grandchild and grandparent can have such a profound effect on one another’s lives . Neither took the other for granted.
Mum has 10 grandchildren . They were all incredibly special to her. When she visited our home in Colorado she would catch us all up on how all the other grandkids were doing. She was proud of them all, and would love them the only way she knew how . It wasn’t perfect, but it was love in its purest form.
It is difficult to acknowledge that Mum, and Grandma are no longer sharing this earth together . I miss her terribly, I know Zach does too .
This epistle is about the relationship between Zach and his Grandma. The unique relationships she shared with my other children was no less profound and special . When Grandma was “in da house ” everything was just better .
Thank you Mum for sharing your life with my children. For travels together, hockey games, roller blade hockey games, bike rides, fort building, project making , cooking, teaching of values, praying, singing, laughing with, driving the boat, visits to the cottage, take out meals from Swiss Chalet, often 5 days in a row, movie watching, pepperoni and onion pizza buying, tractor driving, sledding, gathering up of tears, washing of dirty hands and feet, diaper changing, and showing us how to fix just about anything.
Until next time … we will keep on missing you .