This week ended with feeling a lot of gratitude. Saturday afternoon I lost my grandmother and while it has been difficult emotionally, I am so grateful she is no longer suffering. I’ve been dealing with a lot of “what if’s”, “should have’s”, and “could have’s” in the last 24 hours, but I also know that everything happens the way it is supposed to.
This week I am grateful for…
A chance for one last goodbye
When I got the news Friday evening that my grandmother’s health was declining very quickly, I drove to the home she was staying in. I was able to spend some time with her and get one last “I love you” from her. I am deeply saddened that she is no longer with us, but I am also relieved that she is no longer suffering. It has a been a long year with her health. I will forever cherish the memories I had with her and be grateful for that one last goodbye.
When I was a kid, she was “grandma in the mountains” because she lived a couple hours north surrounded by mountains. I remember our visits always included peanut butter cookies and exploring the woods. I was also fascinated with the catalogs she had for flowers (an odd memory, I know) and she loved flowers. I remember finding rocks that had fossils and that was so cool to me. That probably started my obsession with rocks and gemstones when I was young. She also had many cats, which I remember them roaming around. When we would arrive to her house, I remember her kitchen so vividly. That’s where she always was when we arrived and I think she was usually baking her famous (to me) peanut butter cookies.
Honestly, she didn’t have much, but she had so much love to give. My grandmother was very stubborn, but she loved her family deeply. She was witty and not afraid to say what was on her mind.
I know she struggled with her health for a very long time…all of her life, really. However, she was a fighter. She always fought to live no matter how tough life was for her. A year ago, she ended up in the hospital. I really didn’t think she would survive. Within a couple months, she went back home to her apartment. I stopped by to visit just a few weeks after she was back home, and I was told by the other ladies in the building that they saw her walking down to the store! I couldn’t believe it! This woman was still recovering, but she was stubborn and independent. There was no stopping her.
She did eventually end up in the hospital again (from falling, I think) and went to a nursing home from there. Her memory was going. I know she was having trouble remembering family members when they came to visit. I feel so grateful that I think I only had to tell her once who I was. She always remembered me when I visited. Her face would light up with the biggest smile. I know she adored me. Watching her memory slip away broke my heart…I spent as much time as I could with her.
I could have visited her more these past few months. I should have. A small part of me will always regret not making a greater effort in the last month of her life to go see her. I also always had something blocking my way, whether it was me having a cold, my surgery, or a sign on the door of the home saying there was a terrible stomach flu going around…maybe I was meant to remember her exactly how she was when I last saw her before her final days. In my heart, that’s what I believe.
It has been a tough weekend, but I am also reminding myself of what I am grateful for.
Miss you, grandma. <3