February 28, 2015

Things are Changing

I know it's been a million bajillion years since I've blogged, but that's about to change big time because I have committed to participating in this year's Slice of Life Challenge with my girl Michelle from Big Time Literacy. This means, for the next 31 days, I will be sharing a story from my life, whether that be something that happened today or something from my past (because, let's face it, my days aren't always blog-worthy... and if yours are, I'm super jealous!).

I'm especially interested in participating in this challenge because although I love learning new teaching tips from the many, many blogs I follow, I've realized that the parts I enjoy most are often when people share things from their personal lives.

Also, Michelle pointed out that as an ELA teacher, I should commit myself to doing this type of writing on a consistent basis because its what I ask of my students. There she goes being all instructional coach-y on me... and she's totally right!

It's going to be a challenge, for sure, but I'm feeling pretty committed to this. I have a couple ideas sitting in my draft folder for the days when I get writer's block, so I'm hoping I'll be successful.

So... take this as your advance warning. You may want to bookmark my site or you may want to hide it now because I'm coming back with a vengeance (okay, not really, but I love that phrase)! ;)

If you, too, want to participate in this writing challenge, you can check out the FAQ here and sign up here. I'm told there are some great prizes for those that participate all 31 days... and I sure do like to win things! And if I don't win, I think I'll treat myself to something nice like a manicure for completing it anyway! I respond well to extrinsic rewards. ;) Michelle, maybe we should do that together?!

February 2, 2015

Saying Goodbye

I know yesterday was, as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony said the "1st of Tha Month," which means Farley has a new Currently, and I should be playing along. 

But instead, I want to share with you all a profoundly emotional experience I had today. 

I saw my grandma this morning. 

In my dream. 

Only it was so real, I swear it actually happened. 

My grandma passed away two years ago this month at age 88. She had a massive stroke, which ultimately left her unresponsive. 

I was living in Baton Rouge at the time with very limited funds and only one sick day left in my account. I couldn't make the trip back to Chicago to say my final goodbye. 

And I'm mostly okay with that because I don't like thinking about my grandma all helpless in a hospital bed, not able to talk to me or give me a hug. Because those are the things I loved about her. 

But since she died, I've been holding on to some resentment. I know that might sound awful, but hear me out...

When my grandpa died (In 1992), I knew he was still with us. I would spend the night at my grandma's house, and I could hear him late at night, when grandma and I were both in bed. He would walk through the house, just as he used to, to check that the doors were locked and everything was safe. 

I could literally feel his presence.

And it made me feel safe. I knew he was looking out for us. And I knew he was okay if he was still with us.

So, when grandma died, I waited to feel her. 

I waited. 

And I waited.

But she didn't come. 

Once, I even yelled at her while I was home alone. Where are you? Why won't you show me you're okay? 

But still, grandma didn't come. 

I was very much aware of this longing for the first few months after she passed, but I didn't realize how much it was still a part of me until today.

Until I woke up this morning sobbing.

Grandma came to me in my dream. We had lunch together, at an unknown restaurant, where we sat on the patio in the warm sun. 

She had the friendliest smile on her face as we chatted. 

And she squeezed my hand, just like always.

And I got to hear her laugh again. Oh, how I love her laugh!

I couldn't tell you anything that we discussed, but I do know that I was left with an understanding that this was my chance to see that she's okay and to be reassured that she knows how much I love her.

And I got to hug her one last time.

I didn't want to let go. 
My favorite picture with Grams

I doubt I could ever be ready for that.

My panicked tears started as my dream began to fade, and I realized our meeting would soon end.

I tried to hold her a little tighter. 

Told her I loved her again and again.

And then I woke up and continued to cry for an hour (and then off-and-on all day) as I relieved my dream. 

She finally came to me.

I finally got to say my goodbye.

I didn't even know how much I needed it. 

I hope she visits me again.