Time: Celebrating Life & Death (Part 1)

Time. Why does it all have to go by so fast? It’s absolutely troubling to me how fast it can escape us when we are not even really aware it is happening. I didn’t have a great grasp on the value that time had until I started having children.

Being able to see them change and grow allowed me to see how much difference a year, a month, a week or even a single day can make. It’s really kind of crazy when you think about it.

Time escapes us everyday. No matter what we do, time will not stop. It’s something I never thought about too much until having kids. I think seeing them grow and develop has really changed the way I see it. I now understand why my parents worried so much, why they call so often, and how much they really, really, really love me.

Time: Celebrating Life & Death (Part 1) | Duluth Moms Blog

In 2016, we welcomed our baby girl into the world, and once again I was reminded at just how fragile time can be. It seemed like just yesterday my now toddler was a tiny little baby burrito taken home fresh from the hospital. Right before my eyes he was becoming a handsome little boy! He looked HUGE compared to his peanut sister. With this new life also brought lots of change for our little family. Adjusting to being a family of four and now having a one on one approach was all new!

This year was filled with lots of happiness, but it was also grief stricken. In October, we lost my grandma when my daughter was just weeks old. I was extremely close to her and it opened up a sadness in me I didn’t know existed. Once again, time reared its ugly head and reminded me just how many years had gone by in a flash. Talk about a punch in the gut… one life beginning and another one ending just like that. I was reminded of just how precious years, hours, minutes and seconds were.

Time: Celebrating Life & Death (Part 1) | Duluth Moms Blog

She was the most amazing grandma you could ever imagine. Growing up next door to her was an absolute blessing in my life. Something I would not fully even realize until her passing. All those days she watched over me as a baby, all the times I got off the bus to have a snack at her house. The times we had Christmas Eve at her house, the delicious homemade pies, bread and cookies we made together. That time she pulled out my first loose tooth without my permission…she tricked me, ok! Now, all those moments are frozen in time. They are engrained in my memory forever and will never be forgotten. Now that she was gone they had a whole new meaning to me.

The one moment in time I am so thankful for was the day I was traveling up north to visit my parents. I stopped by the nursing home with the new baby and Keegan even though I was a bit hesitant to stop in to see grandma with a new baby and a toddler all by myself. I did it anyways. Something told me I had to.

When we got to her room she was sleeping. Like the mouth open, I’m not waking up for a while kind of sleep. I chuckled at her from the doorway thinking, “Hmm, I should just let her rest.” For a moment I thought, “I’m just going to leave her alone and not bother her today. Maybe I’ll stop in on my way back to Duluth instead.” Just then I locked eyes with a nurse in the hallway who told me that she would be waking her soon for lunch. “Ok, great” I thought. We will just head to the lunch room and wait for her.

Twenty minutes passed before she arrived at the table with us. My toddler was bouncing off the walls and showing everyone in the nursing home just home much energy one tiny human could have. Thank goodness one of the nurses noticed my distress and brought a popsicle over! 

Time: Celebrating Life & Death (Part 1) | Duluth Moms Blog

Grandma was practically still sleeping when they rolled her up to the table in her wheelchair. I finally got her talking and we chatted while she tried to eat her lunch. I helped her a bit while trying to rock the baby and keep an eye on the toddler. I introduced her to Piper for the first time. I could tell she had a moment of happiness when I plucked her from her car seat. Grandma’s words were, “She looks just like you Nina!” Hearing that made me so happy. We continued to have some small talk, but I could tell she was not feeling well that day and was very sleepy and in pain. I helped her eat her food.

Lunch time passed and she was heading back to her room for an afternoon nap. As I leaned in to say goodbye and give her a kiss on the forehead, sadness washed over me. I was remembering her when I was younger. I remember how vibrant and happy she was, I thought about all the great memories we had shared. I broke down crying. A nurse came over to comfort me. I literally was a mess. I wanted my grandma home. I wanted her well again. I wanted her to enjoy her great grandchildren and build memories just like we did. I suddenly became so thankful she had been there for me during many of life’s special moments, especially my wedding day. 

Time: Celebrating Life & Death (Part 1) | Duluth Moms Blog

Once again, time had crept up on me. She had been in the nursing home almost five years already. How could that be? I had just gotten married and was on my honeymoon when I received the call that she had a stroke and was in the hospital. Now I had a three-year old and a new baby and she was getting weaker every time I visited. Slow down time…just slow down.

If there’s one thing that this year has taught me, it’s to value time. Value the little things that may be missed if you are not paying close attention. Value moments for what they truly are worth. Take chances. Just once do what you want to do in this life. Take a risk and watch it pay off in the end. Follow your gut. How many times have we thought these things but never acted on them? Now is the time. Do it before time beats you to it! 

With my grandma’s death came great sadness, but it also opened my eyes to a whole new world. Time was escaping me every day and I couldn’t stop it. I thank God I stopped to see her that day because little did I know it would be the last time I would ever see her alive. Although the memory is slightly bitter, I can still find a little sweetness in it as well to carry with me. 

I’d been on the fence about making a huge life change and my grandma’s passing was the last and final sign that pushed me to finally have the courage to do it. I felt the urge to finally “jump” as Steve Harvey would say. Life is just too short. I needed to take a chance and make a change for our family that would benefit everyone and make grandma proud as well. 

Time: I’m Ready to Jump (Part 2) coming soon!

2 Responses to Time: Celebrating Life & Death (Part 1)

  1. Maria February 2, 2017 at 7:22 am #

    It’s so sad it sometimes takes a sad event to fully appreciate the happy ones. We lost my husband’s grandfather 2 months before our son was born. We were able to tell him that we would be naming our son after him, but they never got to meet. A week and a half before he was born my husband’s aunt passed away. We keep the teddy bear she gave our son in his bedroom, I’m reminded of her every night I’m rocking him to sleep.

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog, and I’m glad I did. Hold onto the ones you love tightly, and savor every moment you spend with them. I’ve reminded myself of that during my maternity leave – I’ve let the dishes sit and spent more time holding him while he sleeps. Best of luck!

  2. Auntie Debbie February 3, 2017 at 12:08 am #

    Very nice Nina💕 Thank God for memories 👍