Life goes on.
Losing someone you love can put your life in a tailspin. Eventually, though, you face reality and deal with the pain. And, before you know it, though you still cry, you find yourself not only smiling again, but laughing.
That's what my late mother would want. She would want me to not only enjoy life, but to love it.
There's nothing that makes me love life more than my family. We've all been a huge support system for one another since my mother's death on July 9, but the ones who have brought me the most joy, the most laughter, the most understanding have been my grandchildren, Tilleigh, 7, and Evie, 4, and William, 23 months. These children have shared my pain, voiced their thoughts and enveloped me in love.
I am the luckiest person I know.
The children are making me rally. Honestly, they give me no choice. It is impossible to be sad when you've got a baby boy wrapping his arms around you, covering your face with unsolicited kisses. It's impossible to be sad when you've got two little girls jumping on your lap just to be close to you.
The joy they bring to me was never more evident than one night last week when my daughter brought them down (they live next door) to spend the night with my husband and me. They came in the back door and, one by one, they ran through the house yelling "Mom" (they call me "Mom") and jumped into my arms, enveloping me in love.
They love me. These little people really, really love me. And, boy, do I love them. And even though it's not always laughter and happiness with the kids, there's always love.
Kids can be trying. They're not always little angels. Case in point -- the kids, namely the girls, argued for seemingly eight hours straight last weekend when they were staying with us. They argued over Barbies (we've got about 20, most of which belonged to their mother and aunt), but we only have one Skipper, Barbie's little sister. Each girl wanted Skipper. I tried to reason with them. Tilleigh gets Skipper for an hour. Evie gets Skipper for an hour. It didn't work.
Next up for argument was the microphone on a stand. We have two, mind you, but one projects sound better than the other. They both wanted the better one. I get that. Evie, though, wanted to perform an entire album while Tilleigh was OK with taking turns singing a song. The 4-year-old was unwillingly to cooperate. And she was loud, sans the microphone, about it. The result? Time out for Evie.
Time out at my house is sitting on a bed without having any interaction with people, pets or TV. It's torture, really. The longer you argue, the longer you stay on the bed. It has never failed as an ideal punishment. They come off the bed reformed children.
Still, I have to keep in mind that the kids' behavior could be a reflection of the abnormal atmosphere we've experienced in our family since Mother's death. We miss her. It hurts. We're constantly talking about her. Just last night, Evie climbed in my lap and said, "I want Nannie."
I want her, too, I said.
So, we just gave each other a tight hug and read a book.
I've always been told that time heals. I'm finding out that it's true. And it's so much easier to heal when you're surrounded by love.
Contact Karen Nazor Hill at khill@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6396.
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...