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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a deep post about regrets. read on or check back tomorrow.

tonight i got everyone into bed early.  i am so beat.  so beat.

with mr. honey bunny working hard on his papers on campus i've been trying to wait up for him every night.  aye, to no avail. 

so picture me, looking rough.  beat.  so beat my kids tell me i look like i need a nap.  that beat.  so, kids in bed and off i go to wash my face and brush my teeth.  did i mention how beat i look?

and then i saw her.

in the mirror.

looking back at me for a split second of time. 
and it really struck me hard.  

 i know i don't look like her.  she isn't half-asian.  she is german.
to see her face in that mirror was absolutely striking because it was her.

Rewind fourteen long years ago.  i was 17 at the time.  i had, what i felt, were the best grand parents in the world.  we spent a couple of weeks with them every summer growing up.  they were funny and best of all... my grandma would tickle my arm for hours on end.  she loved me so much.  she loved all 13 of us so, so much.

but fourteen years ago their house caught on fire.  the house was built by the hands of my grandfather.  it was devastating.  there was much that was salvagable but there was a good bit that was destroyed.  including the souls of my grandparents.

they met in high school.  he was a few years her senior but it was love early on.  i believe they met through marching band and i think my grandmother's sister didn't like my grandfather.  but i digress... they fell in love and had five kids in six years.  he went off to the korean war and thankfully, he returned.  i'm not sure of the timeline but i know he signed up for the army without telling his parents by lying about his age.

 these are my grandparents {with my precious emma}:
mary evelyn enterline dietz 
(she liked to go by "Evie"... she absolutely hated the name "Mary")
willard dietz
he picks out her clothes every day.  isn't it cute how they match?
if ever there was a couple in love, they would be it.

but fourteen years ago, my relationship with my grandparents changed forever.  they didn't want to see family. they didn't want to come visit.  they were uncomfortable on the phone.  it hurt.

in the time since 1996 they did visit... once.  on a whim.  no notice and it was very quick.  but they came.  and i thought they'd be motivated to let go of the pain of the fire because they missed their family.  but not really the case.  we made our way to PA twice ourselves, but only to attend the funerals of my great-grandmother and great-grandfather.  

now fast forward to 2008.  that would be the next time i would see them.  my grandmother... a woman changed.   alzheimer's.  bad denture care.  a memory that didn't go back 15 minutes.

tonight i saw her face in that mirror.  it was painful.  suddenly i live in a world of regret.  because what that fire brought to my grandparents brought to me, bitterness and resentment.  years worth.  i thought i was fine with their choice of not seeing us.  i thought i was living without regrets but writing them off.  alas... i found out tonight, i was only fooling myself.  it's hard admitting failures, especially to yourself.  as hard-assed as i like to think i am, i'm just as hard-headed.  i've missed years with my grandparents because of my foolishness.  it is 2010 and alzheimer's doesn't go in reverse.  not having spoken to them since 2008, am i too late?  is there even a chance of her remembering me at this point?

and while i'm getting so deep with my unfortunate knack for admitting failures this evening... will this also prove true with my father at some point?  different situation, but ... what do i make of this?
 i miss her.

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