Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year

I am sitting in my office working. The students are on vacation. My babies are at home sick with the nanny. Mae is on antibiotics. New Year's Eve is coming and I feel a feeling of peacefulness. Finally, peace and calm. I have Skype on and I am watching my mother sleep. She hasn't been sleeping and has passed out while talking. I think the sound of my keyboard clicking away just now is probably creating white noise for her. I can't bring myself to hang up because I am afraid she will pop awake again into her sleepless grief hell and I won't know it. Thank god for skype. How amazing that I can be there for her like this even while I am at work. I guess it is kind of similar to those fancy daycare in-crib monitors in the US.

Casablanca is cold these days. We almost bought a car, almost as in showed up to pick up the keys and argued about who would drive it off the lot over breakfast. All the paperwork was signed and legalized. And then they asked me to go ahead and hand over a 7 thousand euro advance on it. Don't you think if we had 7K euros we would have freaking agreed to pay that from the beginning. So due to a lack of competence and communication...we have no car. We have not moved. We have not decided on the school. Nothing has changed. I still feel peaceful about that, calmer.

I hope that this New Year will bring us much peace and time together. 2011 has been about acceptance for me. For all of my life I have looked at nothing as impossible, everything magical..Brilliant. This past year of  motherhood has worn down that child like ambition that I have always had. I didn't want to live in a suburb of Casablanca, I didn't live my whole life to end up in sidi fucking maarouf. I don't want my kids to be from there...ok wait...actually I just want things to be easier than they are now, so even though I don't want to live there, I'll take it, please and thank you if that means I get to see them more, avoid traffic and have a better organized life.
I want them to learn Spanish and  be brilliant and make it into la mission or a school with a European baccalaureate...ok wait, actually we can't afford those schools and I am just fine with this MOROCCAN private school right by my job that would allow me to drop them off and pick them up everyday. Walk in and get them, chat with their teachers, see their world...everyday. I think part of this goes back to: no my grandmother can't die, no she won't, or it is abstract and not real and not happening, certainly not before Christmas...ok wait, she's gone. Death came and I saw it. The leukemia showed up and ravaged her body in two weeks flat and she is gone, but miraculously I got to sit at her bedside and hold her hand and hear the most magical words whispered to me on her way out.

I understand all at once that she is why I am so fucking impossibly, hopelessly ambitious about brilliance. All of the concessions I am having to make as a mother feel like mediocrity but maybe it is just practicality. At the end of the day my grandmother was one of the most practical people I have ever known, with a heart full of magic...This is her wathcing my mom turn 50:

And this is her watching her first great grand daughter being born:

And this is me, once upon a time - on a New Year's eve in Scottland,  when I still thought the world was mine:

Damnit I wish I could still fit in those jeans! (see practical things, practical things!!!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Days

Well I'm back. I haven't written in a while because I didn't want to always be a whining mess of indecision and strife so I took a small break. Alot has happened in that time. I went to America and back. My grandmother died. We decided to move back into the city and found a place and started packing. Then we changed our minds and unpacked. (apparently we are having a hard time leaving this place)

The part about my grandmother dying deserves more attention. The week that I went home to see her ended up being the last week of her life and I ended up with the shared and tragic honor of caring for along with my sister. What a thing to do. I sang her songs that she taught me to sing to my kids and washed her hair and held her hands and kissed her head and told her I loved her a million times. She told me details of her life so that I might write it one day. The details of what we all experienced are coming back to me one at a time in a fog and as hard as it is to go through this, it would be a lot harder if I hadn't gone. A lot harder. So I am grateful for it. Everyone back here has been so kind and caring and supportive of me. Inviting me to eat and calling me and extending their condolences. I love that about the culture in Morocco. Death and birth and marriage are such big deals. But then again I think people make big deals out of it also in the states and that maybe it is just part of being an adult.

The girls had to suffer through a week of their mom being gone and then a week of their dad being gone and now we are all back together and I am so grateful and happy for it. They are happy for it as well. It will be many many years before they will understand just how special their Gigi was. Everyone knows that when you loose your grandmother it is horrible but there is a significant amount of people on this earth that had the pleasure to know my grandmother that are currently mourning her loss through playing her favorite songs and videos of her singing, remembering her favorite sayings and celebrating her life through the tears cried from the news of her death. Those people are located on three continents (that I know of) and divided into many states. She would get such a kick out of that.

Right now it has been less than a week since she passed but before we know it it will be more than a year and then many years (hopefully) and then I will be staring at my own inevitable fate as well. That did not escape me. But I think this experience was the first one for me in terms of  accepting death. Being even maybe comfortable with it. Seeing that even when it is a horrible viscous cancer like leukemia that shows up and erases you from the inside out and you can cease to exist in two weeks flat, that even's ok. You can go with love and if you're lucky you can whisper the sweetest most special things in the ears of the people you love.

I am going to try to get better at writing more often on here.