Random Brain Dumping

Musings and observations about life

Please don’t pinch me

Have you ever wanted something so badly that when you got it, disbelief took over? Recently, I had such an experience. Sadly, it began with a death.

Tabatha and Xavier with their mother, Sabrina.

Tabatha and Xavier with their mother, Sabrina, before our lunchtime cruise.

When my ex-daughter-in-law called just before Christmas, her words came fast but disconnected. Her sadness transcended the distance. I immediately knew something was wrong. She had lost her father. Her hero. His death, she said, forced her to realize the fragility of life, the pettiness of our decisions in the context of life. She wanted to reconnect.

An eternity had passed since we had last communicated. My two oldest grandchildren, her children, both were in single digits then. I think. I don’t remember.

The conversation filled me with incredible sadness and gratefulness at the same time. I struggled with how to reconnect with her and the children.

Baby steps. Yeah. Baby steps. “Don’t rush it; don’t be too eager,” I thought.

She and I became friends on Facebook, and exchanged text messages.

Xavier and Tabatha, and the zorse (a zebra and horse cross)

Xavier and Tabatha, and the zorse (a zebra and horse cross)

One phone call with the kids. Another phone call. Pictures and videos of the kids being shared.

Then, a plan. I would visit them in Florida. When the plan fell through, I pretended I was OK. I was devastated.

So was my mother, who called my ex-daughter-in-law and lashed out like a mother bear protecting her cub. I was doubly devastated. What if that call had jeopardized my chances of seeing my grandchildren?

I didn’t talk to my mother for two weeks. How could I say to her how angry I was (in a calm voice) without being disrespectful? We had never gone that long without talking. Once the words came to me, Mother and I talked, and I thanked her for her concern but respectfully insisted that she let me fight my own battles. Meanwhile, new plans for a Florida visit took shape. When I saw them, nothing else mattered.

Tabatha in 3-D glasses

Tabatha in 3-D glasses

Xavier in 3-D glasses

Xavier in 3-D glasses

When I think about having seen them, I’m taken back to the feeling of having my first grandchild, discovering the bond between a grandparent and grandchild. The time apart had not diminished the bond.

We did nothing special. We took a lunchtime cruise, their first. We rode horses, our third time together. We saw “MIB3” in 3-D and Imax, and have the glasses to prove it. We had breakfast and dinner. We bonded.

It’s been a month. I’m still floating. Please don’t pinch me. I know that the pinch indicates you’re awake, and what’s happening is really happening. In this case, I’m still in disbelief that I saw them, that we hugged and had fun together. I want this dream, this feeling to continue.

So, don’t pinch me. If you pinch me, I might wake up.

June 25, 2012 - Posted by | Random Brain Dumping | , ,


  1. What a wonderful story. I reconnected with my younger sister last fall. We have different moms and a fifteen year difference between us. Last August, she had a baby. I felt like now we had something in common, especially since she had her new daughter and I have three daughters of my own. Well, the girls and I visited she and her family a couple of times at her home in Southern Maryland. I even spent a day with just she and the baby at her home. Each visit and text seemed, I thought, to bring us closer. Then she cancelled our last visit. I tried to reschedule, but she didn’t respond to my texts or calls. My last phone message to her was on Valentine’s Day. No response. So, I wrote her a heartfelt letter letting her know that I thought we were getting close, I don’t know what happend, but that I was here whenever she was ready to start a friendship/relationship again. Once again, I heard nothing. I was devasted and felt like a fool. Then on Mother’s Day I got a text from her very late. She apologized for being so distant, said she and her family had had some difficult patches, and that in the future she would like to spend time together again. I immediately texted her back and said okay. I reminded her that I was still here if and when she needed me. To this day, I have not heard back from her. I am a little heartbroken and am sorry for all of the time we have missed together. I haven’t seen she or my niece since Dec. or Nov. I still haven’t given up on that, “please don’t pinch me,” moment. Hopefully, it will come soon.

    Comment by Andrea Johnson-Stewart | June 25, 2012 | Reply

    • Andrea, I’m so sorry you’re going through an emotionally trying time. When your “please, don’t pinch me” day comes, you’ll forget all of this.

      Comment by Gwendolyn | June 25, 2012 | Reply

  2. Touching entry and beautifully written.

    Comment by Anonymous | June 27, 2012 | Reply

    • I’m glad you found the post touching. Stay tuned.

      Comment by Gwendolyn | June 27, 2012 | Reply

  3. So happy for you, I loved the heartwarming and longing feelings you weaved through your writing. love ya Tia Gwen

    Comment by Rose | July 3, 2012 | Reply

    • Gracias, Nia. Te amo, tambien.

      Comment by Gwendolyn | July 9, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: