01 February 2008

Life

I haven't been posting lately. Life. My grandma passed away last Saturday, the 26th.

On Friday night, my mom got a call from her brother. He could barely talk, she said. Grandma had had a stroke, or so it had appeared, and it did not look good. I was convinced that my mom should get on a plane the next morning down to San Jose. I went with her, for support and for myself. I hadn't seen grandma in over year. We woke up at 4:30 to catch our flight and landed with my mom's sister and her husband waiting for us at the airport. "The doctor called and said that we needed to get to the hospital if we want to say good-bye."
I don't do well in hospitals. Seven years ago, my parents were in a serious car accident which left my dad with a broken neck. He had to wear a halo for several weeks. It was so difficult, to say the least for me to see him and be in the hospital. I have fainted twice with two different babies post-pardom. Hospitals have weird air, weird lighting and they are not clean. I don't care what anyone says. I can't stand it when I drop anything on the floor in a hospital. Its gone. So for me to head to the ICU ward to see my grandma was surprising to my family. I was strangely calm. I already knew that she no longer had any brain activity. I already knew she would be hooked up to several machines, so I was prepared. I was able to tune out the "hospital" and be there for my mom, my grandpa, my grandma.


She looked so small. She was warm, but mostly gone. I watched my grandpa, her second sweetheart, rub her tiny shoulder. He lowered his head near the bed rail and closed his eyes. I wondered what he was going through. Was he releasing her? Was he wishing he would soon follow? Was he saying his good-byes? My mom and her siblings took turns holding her hand and kissing her forehead. It was truly a beautiful scene. Like a movie. So much love. I was trying to be strong. I was one of the ones crying the hardest at 3 of George's grandparents' funerals. But I didn't get a chance to feel any peace being there to say good-bye. I was so grateful I could be there to see my grandma one more time. I felt so much comfort knowing that I will see her and be with her again.


My sadness now is selfish. I wish I had gotten to know her story better. How different life was when she was a child, a teen, a mother. I missed that opportunity. Youth has no respect for age. There just isn't. Senior citizens are not with it, don't understand and can't relate. As I now have only a third, if that, of their experience and wisdom, I realize that is not true. Things haven't changed so much, really. We still eat, sleep, love, carry grudges, gossip, worship, change and forgive. I missed some life lessons. But like my sister-in-law pointed out, I will get another chance to get to know her better. I too, will die, and hopefully, if I am lucky, I will go out like my grandma did, with loved ones surrounding me after a full day of aerobics and crosswords, and get out of having to make dinner.

7 comments:

Melissa February 3, 2008 at 3:30 PM  

Your grandma was so sweet. She always had a smile on her face. I was sad when I read this, but I am so happy you were able to be with her before she passed on.

5-Wheeler February 3, 2008 at 6:24 PM  

I'm so sorry for your loss and grief. She sounds like a wonderful woman. You and your family are in our prayers.

Nicki February 3, 2008 at 7:07 PM  

Oh Randi! I just hate these life moments! They are so painful. With the passing of Gordon B Hinckley, I came across a picture of him sitting at the casket of his wife, you could see the anguish in his face. And I thought, if he mourns this hard despite his understanding, then it can't be easy for anyone to lose a loved one. I still miss my grandma as much as I missed her in June after her passing. I know what you mean about wishing you got to know her story better. Even though I knew her pretty well and cherished our time together, it's like, "WAIT! I wasn't done asking questions! Come back!" But, this was a very beautiful tribute to your grandma and I envy you for being able to be with her before she passed. My prayers are with you and your grandpa.

Love,
Nicki

HeAtHeR* February 3, 2008 at 9:11 PM  

so sad to see that she passed away. She sounded like an amazing person...and so stylish. We will pray for your family.

Tierney February 4, 2008 at 8:07 PM  

I'm so glad you got to be with your grandma. I'm sorry though. I know you'll really miss her.

the waites February 5, 2008 at 11:16 AM  

Im so sorry for your loss, she sounds like a real class act.Its such a blessing that we have the Gospel so we can be united with them again someday.

xoxo

heather February 5, 2008 at 10:34 PM  

Your grandma sounds amazing and looks so classy! I am glad you were able to be with her. I see some of her good looks in you! :)
Email me...I need your email address so I can invite you to my blog. hcowdell@gmail.com

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