I've been away for the last few days (I have a full email inbox to prove it!) and it was one of the best and worst weekends of my life. I am just now getting back into a normal routine and starting to reflect on everything that happened. It was so busy. There was so much. I haven't processed everything yet.
Friday was a good day. It was release day for The Storm Before the Calm, which was incredibly exciting. I've been waiting for this book to drop for a long time now. It's incredibly personal to me and I am so frickin' happy that so far, the people who have read it all seem to love it. The reviews have been fantastic and I've had a few people message to tell me how much they loved it. What more could an author ask for?
I was up early because I was baking Nugget's birthday cake in preparation. I spent the day rolling fondant and cutting out little letters for the top. It was interspersed with letting Nugget lick the spoon for the first time and chopping fruit for our rainbow fruit skewers. My parents and sister arrived that afternoon, so we spent the rest of the day together.
Saturday was Nugget's first birthday. We got up in the morning and I made blueberry pancakes for his birthday breakfast. My parents and sister joined us, and once breakfast was finished, we opened some of his gifts. The rest of the morning was dedicated to party prep and then we headed to the park. It was a beautiful day, and perfect for a picnic (which was good because we had so. much. food. Hudson went on the swings for the first time and played with his bestie, Jagger. We had hot dogs and chatted with friends. I made him a smash cake, which he never actually got around to smashing, but I still got some cute photos (see below).
The day was met with awe, elation, and a touch of sadness. When Nugget was born, the one piece of advice that was consistently doled out (and the one piece I tried to take to heart) was that it goes so fast. People would tell me and I would nod and smile. Yes. I know. He's growing so much already. And then I blinked, and a year was already gone and my baby who used to fall asleep on my chest is now a walking (with the assistance of furniture to hang onto), talking (i.e. babbling), toddler with a huge personality (and an attitude to match).
He has become this amazing little person and as sad as I am that his baby months have come and gone, I am looking so forward to seeing who he becomes. The adventure is just beginning and I am so excited to live through the rest of it.
Saturday ended with all of us exhausted, stuffed with cake, and dreading the next day, because yesterday, we went to the island to say goodbye to my grandmother. She has been ill for a while, and things have taken a turn for the worse. This is the end and I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into the hospital room. I waffled back and forth with whether I should take Hudson with me, and in the end, I decided that even if she had a moment of lucidity, it was important that he be there.
The moment I walked into the room I burst into tears. I've never seen her looking that frail, that thin, that sick. It broke my heart. I've always felt I had a special bond with my grandma, being that I was her first grandbaby. I remember her being this sassy, larger than life woman, and there she was, barely able to lift her head. But she was conscious and she smiled when she saw us. We brought her a hamburger and fries (which she sort of attempted to eat) because she hadn't eaten in five days.
I clung to Nugget. I was so grateful to have him there with me and I hung onto him with everything I had. He didn't know what was happening and he was still his happy, bubbly self as my dad played peekaboo with him. When my grandma tried to join in, I broke down again.
Then she asked to hold him.
She wasn't strong enough (and Nugget is squirmy as they come), so my dad helped her and in that moment, I was so glad that I had gone and that I had brought my son. The look of joy and peace on her face when she looked at him was amazing. I tried to hold onto that small sliver of happiness and not to think about the fact that Hudson will never remember her, and my future children, my sister's children, will never know her at all. It hurts my heart to think about because she is such an amazing woman, and the world will be a little less bright once she's gone.
We were only able to stay about an hour. She was tired and is on some pretty heavy duty pain medications, and when it came time to say goodbye, I cried for probably the 87th time that hour. How do you say goodbye to someone, knowing you'll never see them again? How do you let go of someone you love?
I didn't do a very good job, but I did the best I could. We'll all be there one day, and all I can do is take comfort in the knowledge that she lived a good life. She had four children, seven grandchildren, and three beautiful great grandchildren. I don't know if I believe in heaven, or an afterlife, or whatever, but if there is one, my grandfather is there waiting for her.
Cate Ashwood's books on Goodreads
Keeping Sweets (Newport Boys, #1)
ratings: 1018 (avg rating 3.75)
Brokenhearted (Hope Cove, #1)
ratings: 764 (avg rating 3.72)
A Forced Silence (Zero Hour, #1)
ratings: 635 (avg rating 3.90)
Married for a Month
ratings: 407 (avg rating 3.80)
Wholehearted (Hope Cove, #2)
ratings: 458 (avg rating 3.51)