I’ve written this post a few times over in my head, but I just hadn’t found the urge to sit down and type it in fear that it would make everything seem so final.
We got news on July 22 that Davey’s grandmother was going into hospice and would pass away within the following week. We immediately made plans to drive through the night the next day and head to Indiana to see her again and say good bye. I love that I married a man that can look at me and say, “I have to go see Nana…” So sweet and loving, he is.
Meanwhile, my grandmother had been sick for some time and was under the care of hospice. She had been suffering a lot — way more than she ever could have imagined, she said. I had said my “good bye” to her in June thinking I would probably never see her alive again. I can’t really write this without tears welling in my eyes thinking of how much she endured her last few months. The pain, the nausea, the discomfort. It would have been enough to make anyone lose their faith.
I’ll never forget our last day with Nana, Davey’s grandmother. Every aspect of her personality that I respect so much was shown–her humor, her wit, her decisiveness. She was an extremely smart woman who, although enduring so much loss in her life, was easily described by her granddaughter during the eulogy as “content” with who she was. She found contentedness with the path life took her.
When a grandparent passes away, there is suddenly the realization that a familial generation will soon be gone altogether. The awareness of time becomes too keen.
I clung to Seton, happy that pieces of our grandmothers are already evident in her personality.
We spent a lot of time with Davey’s family around the time of Nana’s death. I kept thinking, “Thanks, Nana, for these people.” I knew her for 4 years and because of her life, I have a family. I have people to grow old with. I have a daughter. I have my people.
Leaving town after Nana’s funeral was difficult.
I said good bye to my grandma, again.
By that point, she wasn’t able to speak. Sitting next to her, we saw her lips moving and knew that she was praying, “Hail Mary…”
I told her I love her, and somehow from the depths of her soul, she muttered, “I love you.”
Back in June when when Davey and I thought we were saying our final goodbye, she told us, “Love each other. Don’t stop loving each other.”
She always used to say when people pass away, we selfishly want them here with us. But we have to be happy for them, and let them go.
I never really thought about how I would be telling myself that when she passed away.
Three hours to Minnesota, my phone rang. My grandmother took her last breath. She was gone.
There is a sense of being disrooted when your last living grandparent passes.
She used to have an hour glass in her hallway. We would beg to open our Christmas presents right after Christmas Eve dinner, and she would tell us, “Go turn the hour glass. When the sand runs out, it’s time.”
I’d like to think she spent her life waiting to open her present, watching the sands run through the hour glass. Now it’s her time. She has wanted this for so long. I am happy for her.
As when anyone dies, we pledge to honor them in our life.
The best way for me to honor Nana is to be ardent and keen with decisions I make for my family. Choose to be a powerful matriarch who stays firm to my values. Make good decisions and avoid comparisons. Accept heartache and loss, but don’t let it ruin me. Laugh until I die.
The best way for me to honor Grandma is to exude love in all I do. In every dish I wash. In every patient I touch. In every diaper I change. Never stop loving in the most simple and important ways.