Giving Life My All

Giving all of myself to everything in my life… God, my family, my health, my mind. This is my story… my ups and downs, struggles and triumphs.

1 Year Ago… seeing good in midst of a storm

on March 5, 2015

This is my first attempt at blogging… it may be a bit random at times but hopefully, its an enjoyable read.

I’ve been wondering for a couple of days now what my first post should be about.  Ideas always cross my mind and I think, “Oh this is it… if I just had my computer, I’d type out a couple of paragraphs on XXXXX.”  But those thoughts usually came while driving or while laying in bed at 11:30 pm before I fell asleep.  Well today it finally hit me.  A post combining family, God and how He works in amazing ways.

CG (362)

Driving home from dropping off my 3 1/2 year old at preschool today, I randomly started thinking about our life a year ago.  We are coming up on our second son’s first birthday and with that birthday, the anniversary of the day we said goodbye to my grandpa.   That thought had me wondering which day exactly it was that he passed.

When I got home, I pulled up my Timehop app to see if I had any fun pictures that I could post as my #TBT, and low and behold, my status from one year ago today was my status update regarding my grandpa.  One year ago today.  March 5, 2014… a day I will remember forever.  We knew the day was coming quickly, but somehow, even trying to expect the passing of a loved one doesn’t prepare you for the actual loss or hearing someone say the words, “he’s gone.”  The entire day I spent working from home (as I usually did on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and thinking about how I just wanted the little baby brewing inside of me to finally make his grand entrance into the world.  We were about a week from his due date and there was no progress or end in sight (in my eyes).  I was in pain, tired, and done with being pregnant.  5 o’clock rolled around, I was finishing up work and waiting for my husband to get home with our son from daycare when the phone rang.  I looked at the number coming in and it was my mom.  I answered the call, and I don’t know how I knew, but the second she said, “Hey Cheryl,” I had a pretty good feeling as to why she was calling.  “I have some news,” she said.  I finished her sentence.  She confirmed it and proceeded to tell me how he passed.  My heart sank.  My eyes filled with tears and the reality of what our entire family had been trying to prepare for for YEARS, had hit me like a ton of bricks.  He finally let go.  He finally went home to our creator and his wife.  God finally called him home.

After my husband got home, I told him that my mom called with the news.  I sat in my glider most of the night, just rocking and staring off with hundreds of thoughts and memories flowing through my head.  So many great memories of Grandpa and the family… and then the thought that I would not be able to go to the funeral.  I was not going to be able to see my grandpa one last time before saying, “Goodbye.”  It was unbelievably hard to face this… to be one of his only grandchildren not to be able to go to his funeral.  You see, a year prior, my small family of 3 decided to pick up and leave the Tri-State area that most of the Cannella family line resides in.  Aunts, Uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins and grandparents, literally live within an hour to 2 hour drive from each other.  Holidays were always spent together and the memories we all created together are priceless.  Greg and I were the first family members in probably over 30 years to branch out and move away… with my younger sister making the move with us.  So I was a week and a half from my due date, my grandpa’s funeral was likely 4 or 5 days away, and there was absolutely no chance I was going to be flying to the east coast for any reason.  I was torn.  I felt guilty.  My grandpa just passed and I was waiting on bringing a new life into the world.  There was no way I could be happy in this moment… the moment that most mothers are looking forward to with joy, meeting the little miracle they spent the last 9 months dreaming about.  My second son will forever have this sorrow hanging over his birthday when I think back to the days leading up to his birth.  Then it hit me… or maybe I should say He hit me with the reason for all of this.

grandpa me nicole

Grandpa, my younger sister and me… one of the last times we got to spend together – Winter 2013

My grandpa suffered and pushed through 4 or 5 years at the end of his life.  His last year or so was definitely his worst.  I don’t think we will ever know why he pushed for so long and stuck around when every bit of his body and mind seemed to say that he was ready to go home.  But he did.  Every day, we waited to see if he was going to keep going… and he always did.  The last time we saw him, thankfully, was just a couple of months prior at Christmas when we traveled back to CT to spend the holidays with family.  My oldest (then 2 1/2 years old) got to see him one last time, and even though he probably won’t remember it, it meant so much to me to see the 2 of them together.  Cayden and Grandpa bonded.  When no other adults could figure out what to say or do with Grandpa, Cayden and Grandpa always found something to enjoy together… whether it was playing with dinosaurs, pushing matchbox cars back and forth to each other, giving high fives, or just making funny faces at one another… they had a bond.

Cayden and Grandpa

Cayden and Grandpa

Coming to terms with the timing of my Grandpa’s passing was hard and when most people would be angry at God for the timing, I found peace in it.  He took one of the most important people in my life at a time when I was going to be bringing an equally important person into the world.  He helped ease the pain of the loss by blessing us with the gain of another.  Liam wasn’t born the day that we lost my grandpa… nor the day that my grandpa was laid to rest next to my grandma… but about a week after the funeral and a week past his due date.  I had time to deal with our loss… time to try to heal and try to look forward to our unborn child.  I think the Lord knew that I would have had a very difficult and emotional time going into labor during those days following my grandpa’s passing… and so, he kept Liam inside just a bit longer than predicted to make sure that I could 100% be ready and devoted to delivering my baby.

God is good…. even in pain and sorrow… God is good.

I love you Grandpa and I miss you every day.  I look for you in Liam Thomas’s actions and personality hoping to see that God blessed him with bits of you as you left this world and he entered it.  You were one-of-a-kind and I’m so lucky to have been one of your grandchildren.  I’m looking forward to the day that we will be reunited.

CG (349)


2 responses to “1 Year Ago… seeing good in midst of a storm

  1. Lisa says:

    Great first blog entry! I miss Grandpa so much, he definitely was one of a kind. I can’t believe its been a year already. I so wish he could watch his great grandchildren grow… He would’ve loved doing puzzles with Cayden! I love you!!


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