Friday, December 25, 2009

The 5am Discovery

Christinapalooza at Disney was great, and I could write a whole blog about it. And I will. But not right now. Now is not the time. If there's anything I've learned in my 20 years of life, it's that life is unexpected. No matter how much you think you know what's going to happen next, the truth is, you can never be certain. And my "two week happiness theory" never fails. (My "two week happiness theory" states that I can never be happy for more than 2 weeks before something goes wrong and takes that away from me). In times of struggle and sadness, I reflect and write. It's what I know best.

Wednesday night (12.22) was supposed to be incredible. And for the most part, it was. I went to Alico Arena with some of my Chi Omega sisters to watch the wish of Patrick "P.J." Chester, Jr. come true. He was hit by a drunk driver in 2007 and now suffers from seizures. He had to relearn almost everything. He was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation (which happens to be Chi Omega's philanthropy), and his wish was to become a basketball star. And Wednesday night was the night that his wish would come true. To see P.J.'s face when he arrived to screaming fans at Alico Arena was the greatest feeling in the world. He is truly amazing, and it's a night that I know he'll remember for the rest of his life.

As I was sitting in Alico Arena during the game when I got an unexpected text: "Mom and I are taking grandma to the hospital so we won't be home for a while." The words hit me hard and fast, and I wasn't sure how to react. And I know for a fact that if I hadn't been sitting in a crowded arena surrounded by my sisters that I would have broken down. Earlier that day she had fallen down and wasn't able to get up for 2 hours. Now she was weak and dehydrated...but that was only a prelude to the underlying condition.

I'll be spending most of my Christmas in the hospital. Despite what my grandparents want to believe, the rest of us know the truth. My grandmother is dying. The doctors said she should have been dead a long time ago, and that all they can really do now is to keep trying as long as she wants them to. My grandmother doesn't want to die. She's afraid of the unknown. And my grandfather seems to be in denial. If he was given the option to pull the plug, he wouldn't do it.

For me, the holiday seasons are always full of reminders...both of the good and bad. And while this year is no different, it kind of is. I haven't been reflecting on this year, but rather the past 20 I've spent with my grandmother. I've been reminded of the things we've done together, and the things we never got the chance to do. My mom says she doesn't see her making it through the year; I don't know if I see her making it through next month. It makes these moments so important because I never know when it's all going to be taken away from me.

I was just reading a blog posted by Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, titled "For Empty Seats and Elephants in Rooms and Dreams that Feel Impossible." If you haven't read it, go to and read it. His words hit home to me, and they're what I needed to hear on this not-so-merry Christmas Day.

John Mayer said it well in a tweet yesterday - "Sending a heartfelt Merry Christmas to those who feel loneliness this time of year. You're not alone. Hang in there."

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