Life isn’t anything like it was.
A year ago around this time, I was just getting out of hospital. A year ago at this time, I was just starting my journey as a mom. A year ago at this time, I lost my grandfather, four months before losing my grandmother. They both died while I was in hospital having one surgery or another.
A year ago.
Feels ridiculous to say a year ago when it feels like yesterday. And in this time, so much has happened and I’ve changed and I’ve grown and I’ve learnt but if I’m honest, I’ve not grieved much for them.
How can you grieve when you have a new-born to attend to? How do you grieve while in and out of hospital, trying to get your life back? Trying to restore your body to where it used to be.
This morning I woke up and I started doing a few exercises. Nothing drastic, a couple of crunches, some sit ups, a few squats etc. Why is this relevant? Well because this is the first time in a year that I’ve felt my body can handle exercise. It’s the first time I’ve felt that maybe it’s time to start getting the old me back. The old me, before the baby weight, before the injuries, before the weakness.
It’s all over
Only as I stood there getting changed, I realised that this is it. This is the end for me of the worst year of my life, the best year of my life, the hardest year of my life. It’s the end of this period of surgery and being a new mom.
My son is walking, he’s starting to talk. He’s purposefully defiant and does exactly as he pleases. He’s a little person. He’s not a baby any longer. He’s growing and I’ve been a mom for a full year. Yes it has been hard but it has also changed my life for the better. Being a mom gave me reason to fight. It forced me to be stronger than I thought I could be.
It also stopped me from grieving.
How do you grieve for the loss of a loved one, when you’re celebrating the new life you’ve created.
Some say that when one life begins, another must end – weirdly, I believe that. I believe it’s the natural order of things. I believe my grandfather had to leave, to make way for my son. It’s a weird thing to take comfort in but it means he’s always here with me. My grandfather was named Christopher, now my son carries that as his middle name. It’s weird, maybe, but it’s comforting.
So today, I finally realised that while I may be really sad, I am not consumed with grief. I miss my grandfather. I miss him with all of my heart. I miss that we can’t talk on the phone. I miss the political discussions. I miss the wisdom, the guidance, the reprimands too. I miss him more than anything and yet, life goes on. Because it must.
For now, I’m no longer just Jonelle. I am mom. Responsible for the well-being of more than just myself. And that is the motivation with every waking day. To be better, to be more, to be stronger. For not just me, but for Oden too.