letting go

Posted by on October 11, 2011

For those that don’t know I am in the US visiting my parents and especially my dad who is passing away. I’m headed back to China in two days and the two weeks I’ve been here have flown by. I say goodbye to my parents tomorrow(saturday) and I’m not looking forward to it. This week has been full of a lot of letting go moments and the end of things for me. It’s been tough. When I say them or write them out, they sound superficial but they are a part of my parents and who I am as well. I had to shut off their phone services, their number they’ve had for over 45 yrs. I stopped their newspaper, their mail and took my dad’s cat “Miss Kramer(reference to Kramer from Seinfeld)” to the Humane Society. I’ve been taking photos and clothes to them all week that they don’t want sold in an estate sale. All my mom wanted was photos of her kids, grandkids and a photo in their living room of her two sisters. It seems so unreal.50 Golden Years
I was thinking today that I have called their telephone number from school growing up to when I lived in Germany, nannied in Rhode Island, taught English in Taiwan and all through my marriage.I called their number almost daily for the first three months after Mark and I got married, racking up a hefty phone bill. I called that number when I found out I was pregnant with Kiah, when we found out that Sofia’s birth mother chose us and then again when we found out about Miles. It seems strange to never call it again. Not that I can’t call another number and really it’s the person on the other line that I care about but it’s this letting go of things from my past that makes me sad.
This is not a “China” entry and I apologize for that but at this moment in my life, it’s what is going on.
Kiah (our oldest) is getting married on December 20th in Logan, Utah. She’s getting married in the same place that Mark and I were married, where my parents were married and also my grandparents. I asked my dad before I left to try and hold on until December and his reply was “that’s my plan”. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did, he’s a strong and determined person. It was beyond hard to say goodbye and thinking it might be the last time I gave him a hug or saw his face. He told me I’d been a special daughter and that Mark and I were raising three amazing kids. He also said that it had always meant so much to hear my voice on the phone whenever and wherever I had called from, that it had always made their day.

Letting go is never easy, no matter what it is. I’m learning and trying to find peace in letting go. It was a blessing to be able to go back to my home, to my parents and spend time with them, with my dad. We did a lot of laughing and a lot of crying and it was worth the long trip home.

“Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other”. by Leo Buscaglia

11 Responses to letting go

  1. Mark Griffith

    Well said Stac. We have reached that point in our lives where us and our generational peers are all finding this letting go the next chapter of living; living that’s made more poignant by the fact it touches death.

  2. Wendy N.

    I love you Stac. I am so sad for you and can’t imagine the feelings that have been flooding over you the past few weeks. You’re a very strong person, Stac. So glad that you got to spend time with your parents too, I’m sure it meant the world to them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Love Wendy

  3. Julie Price

    Stacey, I learned your parent’s phone number about fifty years ago. That was when they used letters in the prefix, so to this day your parent’s phone number starts with SK2 instead of 752. It seemed so unreal for me to leave the day we visited, under the circumstances. I can’t even begin to comprehend what it was like for you to leave.

    It just never seems real to be the oldest generation in the family. There is always a little girl left in us who wants her parents. My grand kids fill an empty spot in my heart, but nothing ever completely fills the void of not having parents around. But their memory is always there and the knowledge that their presence is always near helps. In a couple hours Suzan’s son Cody gets married. My parents will be there as surely as the rest of the family will. There are always those times when I know they are there.

    Hey, you will always have cousins who love you and as we recently found out, the memories of our child hoods together are a bond that keeps us together forever.

  4. Shari Zollinger

    Nicely said Stacey. Loved Marks comment too. Letting go is, in itself, a rite of passage.

  5. Stacey Griffith

    Julie, will I always have cousins that call me “Bertha Butt of the butt sisters”? Ha ha.

  6. Jane

    Stacey, my heart goes out to you. Having some time to say goodbye is certainly a blessing, albeit a heart rending one. Both Mr. Bob and I are battling cancer, recently diagnosed and we and our kids do a lot of laughing and shed tears, too. It’s a hard time, although it shouldn’t come as a surprise. My thoughts are with you. God bless one and all.
    Jane Humphrey

    • Mark Griffith

      Jane. 🙁

      So very sorry to hear about your and Bob’s diagnosis. You have always been one of my favorite flickr contacts, we feel like we know you. We pray for you, Bob and your family in this tender time.

  7. Stacey griffith

    I’m so sorry to hear this news Jane! You and Bob are in our prayers. My thoughts go out to you and your family.

  8. Connie Hopkins Whitmarsh

    Dearest Stacey,
    It is has been a lifetime since we have spoken directly. My sweet Abbey was only a few months old and you had just adopted Miles. My mom Wyona Hopkins has been trying to locate your parents at the nursing home. We both sent Christmas cards to your parents and your Dad replied with a lovely handwritten note. In my mom’s card he put his number and my mom has been trying to call it but it has been disconnected. Please please send me an email if you can. This post made me cry. My Dad, Val has been gone for almost 5 years but it never gets easier to have him gone. I think of him daily and always have something I want to tell him. I am very close to my mother and speak to her daily. I never thought I would feel such a loss inside.
    much love, Connie Hopkins Whitmarsh

    • Stacey Griffith

      Hey Connie. It was so good to hear from you. We were in Myanmar when you wrote and the connection was always spotty while we were there. I saw a photo that you sent my parents of your kids. They are a great combination of you and your husband. So cute. My parents are at the LNRC. The main number is 435-755-2667. I think? They are both in the nursing home together and Craig and I are working on getting them into an Assisted living center in logan. I know they’d love to see your mom or hear from her. How is she doing? I’d love to see you sometime in the future. We will be in logan this summer, maybe in August. Maybe we could meet half way somewhere? Keep in touch. Thanks so much for writing.

  9. Connie Whitmarsh

    Hi Stac,
    I called Kyle and got the number while you were in Myanmar (thank you internet). My mom called and talked to your Dad for quite awhile. He said he is doing better which is great. My mom was so relieved to get ahold of him. My mom and I have spent countless hours on your website, reading of your family adventures and loving each photo that is posted. Mark’s photos are so amazing. What a fantastic journal our your life. If you let me know when you are coming I will definitely come to Logan to see you. My Mom has been wanting to come and visit family in that area so I would bring her with me. I just need a little notice as I work full-time and need to give my boss a heads up. My Mom is doing great. She is keeping busy with church, walking and keeping fit. She is involved with a widows group of ladies and does a lunch with them once a month. She watches my little boy Carsyn 2 days a week (he will got to kindergarten next fall) and they have a special relationship. She misses my Dad a lot but she has gone on living each day to the fullest. I wish she could find someone to share dinner with or to talk to as my Dad and her were so close I know how lonely she must feel for companionship but maybe that will come later. I am so happy to have gotten in touch. Lets talk soon. Connie

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