Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am not ready to be back at work. I am too used to sleeping without an alarm and not having any obligations to successfully accomplish anything. I am accomplishing things. Not efficiently and definitely under protest. Why is procrastination so appealing?

I have been in a funk since returning from Buffalo. I hate that I can't shake this sense of exhaustion. Last week in Buffalo didn't really help in the "rest and relaxation" department. There were parts of the week that were more challenging than I thought they would be - like underestimating the amount of crying/complaining/bitching of which my grandfather is capable. There were parts that were every bit as challenging as I thought they would be - like the first time I walked into my Nonna's house - walked into her smell and her presence - without her being there. That part I knew was going to hit me like a snowball. It was more like a slab of ice. Walking downstairs to her kitchen....for some reason I knew that she would be there. I knew that I was going to step off the end of the stairs and round the corner and she would be putting a plate of freshly made zucchini patties on the table. But, she was not there. In the absence of her was just heaviness and loss....

....Parts like the first time I visited her grave at the cemetery. Another snowball and completely unexpected. For some reason, in all my emotional preparation for this trip, I completely overlooked preparing myself for visiting the place were the remains of her physical body rest. I stood with my head against the cool granite, my Nonno and cousin vaguely in the background, and wept. If I didn't know it would upset my Nonno, I would have fallen to my knees and allowed myself to enjoy the feeling of letting all my tears fall on her grave.

Despite how cantankerous and stubborn, grumpy and depressed my Nonno has become, I don't think I was ready to leave. Or maybe it was not ready to leave the security of my cousin's presence. Over the last couple of years, Alyssa has become one of my best friends. Despite the fact that she is over five years my junior, I feel more of a connection with her than I do from friends my own age who I have known my whole life.

There. Is. Nothing. Like. Family.

Over the course of the week, we repeatedly told each other how thankful we were that the other one was there because neither of us could have endured the constant bitching on our own. It's amazing how much my Nonna calmed and mellowed him while she was alive. I hate that he lives a self-fulfilling prophecy: He is so sad and lonely because no one will come see him anymore, but no one will come see him because he drives everyone away. Alyssa and I joked in a not-so-joking-way that we hoped he would still like us, his favored grandchildren, at the end of the week. I'm not so sure since he was pretty upset with me for not eating meat, drinking coffee, or eating at least 50 pounds of food at every meal.

We must have done something right, though, because he's called me twice this week already and talked about how much he misses us. There is nothing more heart wrenching than listening to your grandfather cry over the phone and beg you to come stay with him so he won't be all alone.

During the week, I was convinced that there would be no way I could move to Buffalo and live with him as I have been thinking about and wanting to do since my Nonna passed away. Now, my heart is aching because all I want is to go back. I want to be surrounded by my family and all the love they have for me all the time. I want to go back to school and meet new people and study something about which I am so passionate. And yet, I don't want to have to worry that he's going to cut me out of his will if I forget to wipe down the tile walls in the bathroom after showering or leave a single glass in the sink.

Ugh! I don't know what to do or what I want, but I know I don't want to be here forever. I know that there is something so much more for me and I am destined for something so much greater than this purposelessness I feel is consuming my life.

I may not have all the answers, but I do know that something's gotta give. And soon.

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