Monday, June 15

A Great Grandma

My Nana Giesz died last week. She had a stroke early Wednesday morning, and by the end of the day, she was gone. The events of that day, and the days that followed, culminating in her funeral on Saturday afternoon, have left me with much to think about.
Nana was in the beginning stages of dimensia, and struggled with lung disease. While her death was sudden and upsetting, there were difficult roads ahead that she didn't have to travel, and I am grateful for that.
Nana's funeral and visitation were also incredible reminders of the impact that a simply-lived life of love has on people. There were probably 200+ people packed into her tiny country church, a testimony to how well loved Nana was. Nana didn't have many accomplishments that would be considered great successes in the eyes of the world. What she did have were the firmest, longest hugs, and she would pull back and look at you with tears in her eyes, hardly able to whisper "I love you" because she was so moved by that love. She would make your favourite pie just because she overheard you saying you loved it last time she saw you. She loved so many, so well. I hope she knew in life how loved she was, as I saw this weekend as person after person with tears in their eyes reminded me what a good grandma I had.
I have never lost anyone close to me before. The suddenness of Nana's death has reminded me of the importance of living with intentionality. The day before she died, I was driving home from work in Kitchener, and thinking that I should call Nana. I hadn't seen or spoken with her in a long time, at least 3-4 months, and hadn't yet shared with her that I was expecting her first great-grandchild, news which would have brought her great joy. The regret and guilt I feel over that lost opportunity are feelings I don't expect to dissipate quickly or easily. Those feelings are also motivators to not be put in a position again where I will regret missed opportunities or feel guilty about time poorly spent. I am going to spend some time this week considering who and what is most important to me, and to adjust my calendar to reflect that. Nana, although perhaps not knowing it, was to be, but always had been, a great grandma. I don't want to lose anyone else without knowing for sure that they knew of their great importance to me.
Love you Nana. We'll miss you.

Tuesday, June 9


(disclaimer: this is not about Big Thinks, this is very much about the mundane every day interests of my life in the past week or so)

I am sitting in my living room, which happens way too rarely. I just happened to look out the window and noticed that my neighbours have a leather-looking couch and chair sitting on the second floor balcony of their 100 year old brick house. Only here.
It has been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks! I am tired, and get more tired as I look at my calendar. Holy cow!
So, have you heard the news? I assume by now most people have, but, am surprised every now and then when someone I'm sure would've heard through the grapevine says "What!? You're pregnant!?" (sidenote - I learned via my friends at the CBC this past week that !? is an actual form of punctuation - it's called an "interabang." Which makes me think that maybe the question mark should go first, followed by the "bang", but I don't like how that looks. I have also learned in the past week or so that I have this great way of trying to slip that information about my pregnancy into random conversations that are not really related and then try to move on before people have been able to absorb what the info I absorbed 14 weeks ago). So yes, I am pregnant. We found out just before Easter (which seems like AGES ago, and, P.S., that's a long time to keep something so exciting a secret), and the wee one is due December 8th. James is thrilled to be expecting a baby so close to Christmas, considering we have in our combined families 2 October birthdays, a November one, then 3 in the first week of January. Oh well. First trimester went great, no concerns at all, and we are pumped to be parents!
I graduated on Friday afternoon from Wiflrid Laurier University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Global Studies with Distinction on Friday afternoon. Glad to be officially done! (I need to remember to take the diploma out of the backseat of the car, and maybe, like, frame it). We headed straight from convocation to a church leaders' retreat for the weekend.
As we were trying to navigate the crazy traffic into the convocation ceremony, I got a call saying that I got a job I had applied for within Christian Horizons. Along with my hours at the group home, I am now a part-time instructor in our training department, which I am really excited about. I just got home from two days of train-the-trainer training, and am looking forward to (read - petrified by kind of excited about) actually teaching.
So that's my past week. This week James and I are heading to Toronto for the annual Assembly for our denomation, which will be both exciting, boring at times, and great to connect with people. And reminds me that I need to find a dog sitter AGAIN. Twice in one week is a bit much. Oy.
So, while all of these things combined is EXHAUSTING, they're all pretty great. It's a pretty exciting time to be me. I feel like the tripple-whammy of graduating-pregnancy-new job is like "Hello. You're a grown-up."
Except...somehow grown-ups keep their house tidy, and cook/eat healthy meals. I haven't yet figured out how that works when both the grown-ups in the house are working 10+ hour days and come home tired. I think the ones that can afford it hire a house keeper and get take-out, but, that doesn't work for us. Any suggestions?
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