This has been a very emotional week for me for many reasons, but as I was driving to the gym tonight I started thinking about why this week has been such a rough one for me. Then I realized one of the big things that I have been "putting off" dealing with is the passing of my grandfather. This has come to the forefront this week as my mom is in South Africa visiting her mom and brothers and one of the things they will be doing on Sunday in the unveiling of the headstone.
As is customary in Jewish tradition, the headstone is unveiled somewhere between 6-12 months after someone passes. This gives people time to grieve and this ceremony is to help provide some closure. For my mom, I know that this weekend is going to be especially hard and I wish that I was there to give her some support. I am hoping that she will read this and know that I am thinking of her, and everyone else I love who are half way around the world.
This time of the year last year was the beginning on a series of unfortunate events in my family, My mother-in-law was ill, my mother fell at work and broke both her shoulders and then my grandfather passed shortly after "our birthday". Due to her injuries, my mom was not able to travel the long distance to be with her family. I know how heart broken she was to not only lose her father, but to also not be able to be comforted by her mom. While it was difficult for her, it was difficult for me too, but for different reasons.
While I hate my December 26 birthday (it always seems to be lumped in with something), it was special to me as I shared it with my grandfather and my uncle (my dad's sister's late husband). While the 3 of us never actually celebrated together, there was a special tie that bound us together. When my uncle passed away 12 years ago, it was difficult, but I knew that every year on my birthday I would think of him and "our day". A birthday highlight has ALWAYS been the phone call from South Africa where my Oupa and I would wish each other happy birthday. I now know that last year was the last of that, well...actually the year before was the last as this past December he was sick and I had to send my birthday wish through my granny. Although I knew I would always be the last of the "Boxing Day babies", the reality of it is finally hitting me.
While I wish that I was there at the unveiling, I am seeing this blog entry as my own personal unveiling. A way for me to grieve the loss of a wonderful man who's army picture hangs proudly in my classroom. A man who I never fully got to know due to the distance between us, but someone who will always have a very special place in my heart!