The Teenager is struggling. Most of her woes are normal, age-appropriate concerns that pretty much everyone has as they navigate the path to adulthood, but, she has the added strain of grief weighing on her sweet little psyche, and I am worried about her.
A few days ago, she texted to say that she had been at work and could have sworn she saw her grandpa in the mall; she despaired when it turned out to be just some random old gentleman, someone else's grandpa, perhaps.
Today, she called in tears because school is stressing her out and she just feels so worthless and dumb.
The Teenager? Neither worthless nor dumb by any definition of the words.
But, my knowing that doesn't negate her feelings and all the words of comfort that I could provide fell upon deaf ears; she wasn't in a place to hear them.
Without my knowledge, she skipped class and went for a drive, eventually ending up four hours away, in Mayberry, where her grandma welcomed her with open arms, wise words, and, I'm guessing, comfort food.
Together, they visited the cemetery, where Dad's new headstone has been erected; The Teenager was the first in our branch of the family to see it in person and I'm glad that she got that honor. I think she needed it.
I hope she found whatever else she needed; Mom said she was calmer and more at peace when she left, so I have high hopes. I hope she knows how much she is loved and how many people are in her corner, no matter what her struggle.
I hope she felt Dad's presence and I hope she knows that he is with her, always; she doesn't have to drive four hours to find him. He probably won't ever visit her in a mall (the man hated shopping), but, he is never any farther away from her than her most cherished memory; I know that because I miss him, too, and I look for him every day.
The Teenager is young, she has a lot of growing yet to do; with that comes growing pains, that's just a fact of life. She will struggle, sometimes, she will fail. But, more often than not (I hope), she will emerge victorious, and, no matter what, the people who love her will stand beside her.
Because we will.