I wrote this a couple of months ago, but I was concerned about leaving it on my blog because I didn’t want for it to cause any additional pain to any of my family members. Now that grandma is smiling down on us I feel more comfortable sharing it…
My grandmother is really sick. She has been for quite sometime now. I won’t go into all of the medical technicalities. I am sure that regardless of the details, most people can imagine her situation pretty well. It happens to a lot of older people and it is just awful. I can’t begin to explain the number of nights after talking to my mother that I have cried myself to sleep over it.
My grandmother is ninety-two years old and she has been living with a life threatening disease for a third of that time, living and living well. My grandmother is a rock star. She has never been a touchy feely person. Her personality is more like that of a little boy. She likes to play in the dirt and poke snakes with sticks when she happens to find them. She is a hard worker. Up until a few years ago she still drove a giant tractor around the farm to mow the yard.
My grandmother was always very athletic and she was a teacher when she was young. My grandmother has always been tough. She has been quite a person to look up to in my life, and one of the reasons that I believe that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to.
I used to spend large portions of my summers on my grandparents’ farm as a child. I loved to wander around the farm and play in the creek and check out the menagerie of animals that was constantly changing. I have had a few near misses with racehorses, and once a really mad sow. Farms aren’t boring. Many of my fondest childhood memories are of staying up late with my grandma, going out for ice cream, which is possibly her favorite thing in the whole world. Ice cream and Shakespeare…the Shakespeare part was always hard for me to understand. She adores his poetry. Oh, and the word scramble in the daily paper…not the crossword, the scramble.
After church every Sunday, she goes to have lunch with the old ladies, a group of three of her friends who are actually around fifteen years younger than she is. After lunch they meet back at her house to play dominoes. My grandmother makes one of the best apple pies on the face of the earth.
And so now, she has been away from home for a few months. She has been in the hospital and in rehab. The hardest part is all of the pain that she is suffering right now. It just kills me and it kills my mother. I am far away, but my mother has to sit there and watch it every day. It is awful being unable to do anything to help her. It is terrible feeling like you don’t know whether to pray for someone to get well or not. I don’t want her to stay alive for the rest of her family if she is going to be suffering through it. That isn’t any kind of life for anyone, especially someone who is such a lover of life. It is all so unfair.
My grandfather died from a heart attack while he was sleeping. I have to admit that I wouldn’t be heartbroken if that happened to my grandma now, because it would mean that she wasn’t enduring the terrible pain anymore. If she could get better, and go home, and eat ice cream, and enjoy her house, and spend time with my mother…that would be one thing. It is looking more and more though, like that may not happen. I have no concern that I am going to lose my grandmother. I believe in angels. She’ll always be with me, just like my grandpa is right now. He watches over my family, and helps to keep us safe. I feel like she is ready to go and the world is selfishly holding onto her, and I can’t really wrap my mind around why. I know that many people have wondered the same thing. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have an answer.