There is reason behind everything in life, despite the circumstance being positive or negative. People come and go in our lives for reasons, we have impulses and follow them without understanding the logic for reasons, we have certain experiences for reasons.
When I review my own life through a certain lens, there are many chapters and sub-chapters that prompt me to ask, "Why?".
Why did my parents have to get divorced? Why did my ex decide to start dating another woman? Why did I not give that project my all?
When I review my life through that lens, though, there are other instances that assure me it was all meant to be just the way it happened. For instance, last November I decided to go to my boyfriend's (now ex) home which was an hour away from where I lived, and five minutes away from my grandparent's home. We baked holiday gingerbread men cookies and decorated them with sprinkles, silver-coated balls, and icing. We ate, we laughed, we watched tv...we fell asleep.
At approximately 5:30am, I was awoken by my cellphone going off. I sprang up, reached over to the desk where the phone was resting and saw "Aunt Tracy" on the screen.
Immediately, I recognized that something was really wrong. You see, my aunt and I are not close at all- in fact, there is a family riff between her side of the family and my own. We hadn't spoken or seen each other since the Easter prior, so to receive a call at such an uncommon hour had significant meaning.
I fumbled while entering my passcode, and tried my best to use a low-tone voice to answer "hello", so as to not awake my ex. She explained that she had just tried to call my mother, but was unable to reach her. She had some very bad news, she said.
She then told me the words I could never be prepared to hear- "Grandpa just passed away".
There were few details, but nonetheless I knew exactly what I had to do. Of course as soon as I got off the phone my calmness liquidized and the most tears I have ever witnessed streamed down my face. At this moment my boyfriend asked me what happened and I explained...I quickly got dressed and drove to my grandmother's home.
I love both my grandparents as much as I love my own parents- they have been, essentially, my second parents. They helped raise me and helped me through the all-too-common rough waters of my parent's divorce.
When I was standing beside my grandfather at the ER that brisk November morning I began to connect the dots...
Just less than a month prior my grandparents were victims of Hurricane Sandy when their electricity was lost. Since my mother's home was unaffected by the hurricane, it only made sense that we take in my grandparents. I drove up to their condo, helped them pack their things and post-hurricane proofed their refrigerator and freezer.
They spent about a week with my mother and I. Over the course of that week, I was able to serve as the hostess-with-the-mostess by preparing meals for my grandparents, taking them around town and entertaining them.