>Call your grandma today.

>Warning: This post gets kind of heavy. If you’re looking for fun, carefree style stuff, you may want to stop reading and wait for the next one…

I’m taking a break from Style Bootcamp to talk about life bootcamp. Sometimes we go through periods of our life on auto-pilot; we become complacent, comfortable, and self-absorbed in our day to day routines. Then life throws something at us that jars us back into reality, shakes us up, and makes us do some serious re-prioritizing.

Last night I was browsing Regretsy and laughing my butt off at ridiculous listings like this one, when I got the news that my grandmother is in the hospital and isn’t doing well. To paraphrase Adam in Spanglish, there was a crack in the planet… for a second it felt like the floor slid out from under me and was swallowing me whole. I was immediately overcome by a firestorm of emotions: confusion, guilt, fear, panic, regret. I never called or visited often enough. Did I tell her how much I adore her, and how much she influenced the woman I’ve become? She’s been sick, and I wasn’t there.

Then I started to get really angry with myself. I’m the queen of avoidance and denial, and after a fair share of letdowns and heartbreaks in my short lifetime, I’ve learned to build up walls, keep relationships at an arms-length, and shut down when bad things happen to “protect myself.” But in protecting myself, I hurt a lot of people, and I’ve become kind of emotionally retarded in situations like this — my first instinct is to avoid, run away, pretend like it’s not happening. At this very moment, I’m trying to muster any strength I have to go to the hospital and face this; because as much as I want to always remember her the way she was, I know I have to be there for her and my family. It’s the least I can do after all that she’s done for me, but it’s tearing me up inside.

I know there’s a special place in heaven for her. She’s spent her life loving God, spreading joy to her family and friends through amazing southern food and a dependable shoulder to laugh and cry on. My childhood is filled with loving memories of her: the turtle-shaped pancakes and belgium waffles she made me for breakfast every Saturday and Sunday morning, the family traditions she created for every holiday, Sunday school and church in our Sunday best, weekly dinners around her table sharing stories and laughing until it hurt, and millions of others that make me smile and warm my heart. She taught me more than she’ll ever know, and I can only hope to become half of the woman that she is and leave such a legacy of love and giving.

So, if you haven’t talked to your grandma in a while, pick up the phone and call her. Right now.

Or anyone else in your family, for that matter. Sometimes we get caught up in family feuds, we hurt each other with our actions and our words, or we just get so caught up in our daily routines we don’t stop often enough to “smell the flowers,” and tell our family how much they mean to us. But life is short, and it’s never too late to make it right. You don’t want to look back and regret all the time that you missed, all the hearts that ached from your absence, and all the memories that were made without you.

If you’re reading this and you happen to be one of the people that’s ever been left behind in my wake of selfishness and avoidance, I sincerely apologize. I guess the first step is admitting the problem, and {trust me} I know that I have a lot of issues to work through. Please just bear with me, and know that I love you and hate myself for hurting you, I just don’t always know how to show it or how to completely open myself up. I’m working on it every day.

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  1. 11.18.10

    >So, I'm reading this a few months later, and I stopped and called my grandma. I've been meaning to do it, but I've also been putting it off. Thanks for the reminder. meowandmwah.blogspot.com

  2. 8.8.10

    >can completely relate. i felt the same earlier this year when my grandmother passed away. thank you for reminding me to "call my grandmother/dad/mom/brother/aunt/friend today"www.jakeandjessica.blogspot.com

  3. 7.3.10
    Marcie said:

    >I appreciate you getting real in this post. It is so refreshing! I us love your blog.xo Marcie

  4. 7.3.10
    gen said:

    >~H u g s~ i loved reading this too.

  5. 7.3.10
    Christina said:

    >I love this post! Maybe even more than your normal style posts. I sincerely wish the best for your grandmother and I wanted to let you know that it's great reading thoughts like these on style blogs!