Monday, February 28, 2011

Panic Room

Close the door. The world outside dissolves.

Shhhh.

Do you hear it? What do you mean, you don't hear anything? That's the point.

Shhhhh. Listen.

Ah.

Thirteen years: coming and going as I pleased, eating when and whatever I wanted, a clean house, grown up TV shows, no homework, no responsibilities, quiet at all times of the day, no tension.

Yesterday our little home had an invisible storm cloud hover inside just waiting for the right conditions before the storm hit. I have no 'kid responsibilities' four days of the month. I try to get out of the house on those days. Yesterday after my away time, I returned to the storm. One snap at me and I headed for the panic room.

My room is my panic room. I leave the chaos and stress outside and walk into a welcoming aloneness. I try to leave the outside in place, but it does follow me into my oasis. It is not easy.

The relationship between my granddaughters and I has changed since the combining of homes. I miss that once companionship we shared, the excitement of coming to grandma's house, the times we snuggled and talked. I am a stranger in my own home.

In fairness, this is not easy for my daughter having a mother on a fixed income. Having me with her children when she is not. We have not had an easy relationship since she was young. Now I am here every day. Maybe we both need a panic room.

I struggle to keep my feet on the ground and a positive attitude in place. At this late time in my life, I am lost as to where I belong.

I applaud all of you who are raising your grandchildren and those of you living with your children. This is not an easy thing we do. Our dreams of a joyful retirement have changed. Now we take it a day at a time. We savor the moments of peace and quiet, of love and sharing. We have all raised our children and had no inkling that we would be raising our grandchildren as well.

I go to my panic room lighting candle, reading my book. A knock at the door.

"I love you, Grams," my granddaughter tells me as she crawls up on my bed.

"Are you okay?" I ask.

"Uh huh," she answers.

"I love you, too, Honey."

Tomorrow will be better.

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