You probably remember 1980 for the year that Mt. Saint Helens erupts, killing 60 people or maybe it was the news that CNN is launched as the first all news network? Or what about 1981? That was the year Prince Charles and Diana Spencer marry on July 29, 1981. (and my Mom had just been diagnosed with cancer.)
The 1980's became a decade of death and grief for me. One by one death ravaged my family until I felt so sad and so alone I couldn't bear it any longer. I became unaware of world events as my personal world began disappearing.
Here is what happened:
1981 my Mom was diagnosed with cancer of her stomach and she went through a terrible surgery. April 1982 at the age of 64 my Mom passed away. It was a huge loss for me as she was so much more than my Mom she was my best friend too.
Sept. 1983 my Grandfather died at the age of 97. Our rock in the family - always there - now gone.
July 1983 - My husband was diagnosed with cancer. He had a large tumor on the adrenal gland and during surgery the tumor broke into many pieces and they could not flush it all out.
Dec. 1983 my husband died at the age of 47. I miss him still.
Jan 1984 - I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer - was I next to go? I thought so.
August 1984 - My Uncle died from a stroke - he was 65 years old.
August 1985 - My Aunt died from Colon cancer - she was 66 years old.
April 1988 - My Dad died from heart failure at the age of 72. This was the final blow for me as now I was the senior member of this branch of my family and I hated it. I felt the most alone and sad of my life.
One little person kept the glimmer of life burning in me - my grandson! The only time I felt any happiness or joy was during the time spent with him. I arranged with his Dad and Mom for him to spend most of his summer vacation with me and also his winter break time. We did everything we could together as at that time I was still living in a small town in the Kootenay's so there was lots of opportunity for outdoor activity. And I was learning about video games in the evenings. (The early beginnings of me becoming a high tech-grama.)
I was developing a new purpose in life - being the best Grandmother I could be. I began building my life again by not focusing on what I have lost but being grateful for what I have and on what I can do. I no longer feel alone but richly blessed with 2 wonderful, supportive son's and their wives who care for me like loving daughters. I have 4 grandchildren who make me want to live to be a 100 or more.
Fill your heart with Love and it will keep you living.
Read A Grandmother's Love!