Friday, April 22, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Death is inevitable.  We are all born dying.  You know its going to happen at some point, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with it. 

Some of you may know that my grandmother was put in the hospital twelve days ago because she simply didn't feel good.  She'd been battling with bronchitis, but said she was breathing better.  After arriving at the hospital, her blood pressure was up which was likely the culprit of her not feeling good.  She was admitted and mid-week began to feel better. 

At the end of the same week, she starting refusing therapy and said she couldn't get out of bed.  This past Sunday she was vomiting old blood that had been in her stomach for a long time.  After testing, they found out that her kidneys were beginning to shut down.  After they shut down, its only a matter of time before everything else follows suit. 

My granny is 92 years old.  She has 12 children by birth and 4 stepchildren for a total of 16.  She's outlived her husband by 26 years and three of her children.  My memories of my grandmother are huge Sunday dinners with kids and grandkids in attendance, playing in the weeping willow at her house, the fly swat she used sometimes to keep my brother and I in line while we were at her house (the metal end, mind you, not the floppy plastic part!).  She is a sweet and loving person, but could be firm and discipline when needed.  She always did everything she could for us.  When I was in college at UK, not a weekend went by that she didn't send food back with me and give me a little cash just to help me out.  I will always think of her whenever I see a cardinal or red bird.  Those were her favorite!

Lately, my memories are of her and Roxy.  She couldn't wait to meet Roxy after she was born, but was too fragile to travel to the hospital to see her in the NICU.  After Roxy came home, we were afraid to take her to Granny's for Sunday dinner because of the number of people there and the germs.  But, we finally made it.

Since Roxy's been old enough to crawl and especially since she's been walking, she's always made it a point to spend some time with Great-Grandmomma.  Lately, its been a game of peek-a-boo with Roxy peering at Granny from between the open spaces on Granny's walker.  Roxy thinks its a ton of fun and usually giggles a lot.  She always ends peek-a-boo time by patting Granny on the leg. 

My biggest regret is that Roxy won't remember Granny.  She's a year younger than I was when my grandfather passed away and I don't remember him at all.  We do have lots of pictures to show her though.  We'll have stories to tell her when she gets older. 

So now, our family is spending as much time as possible at the hospital with Granny just so she knows that we are there with her and that we love her.  Last night before I left, she was able to tell me she loved me.  We've been told that its only a matter of days, maybe a week, before we lose one of the greatest women we've ever known.  Everyone is trying to prepare in their own way, but we all know that nothing can prepare us for the gaping hole that losing the glue to our big, close family is going to cause.  What happens when there's no more Sunday dinners at Granny's?  When Granny isn't there to visit? 

That's for us to deal with after the fact.  For now, we have to concentrate on making sure she's comfortable and that she knows how much love surrounds her and how important she has been in all of our lives. 

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