It's been a hard couple of weeks for my family. About two weeks ago, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital to have antibiotics administered for a colon infection. She was supposed to be there about 24 hours and then go home to take more heavy duty antibiotics.
She never made it home.
The first night she was there she had an "episode", for lack of a better term, where she couldn't breathe and was placed on a breathing tube in ICU. They kept her sedated for several days to let her body recover. Once they woke her back up, they did tests and found a huge mass in her colon and confirmed that she had something wrong with a valve in her heart. So she continued to have "episodes" where she couldn't breathe and the nurses would rush in to revive her. The doctors told us one thing one day and another thing the next day - or sometimes even the next hour. My uncle called it a slow roller coaster ride. One minute we all had hope that they might be able to do a procedure that might help, the next minute we were all down and not knowing what would happen.
This past Sunday, the 29th, I got home from Mass and felt an overwhelming feeling that I needed to go to the hospital and see her - and I felt it would be the last chance. So I spent the afternoon there. I only saw her once that day but got to tell her I loved her. I'm so glad I went because while I was spending very special time with aunts, uncles and cousins in the waiting room they came to tell us that her kidneys were shutting down and that while they could do any number of procedures on her, none of them would ultimately help too much. She decided that she wanted no more of the medical stuff. She was at peace with the Lord, had gone to confession and had anointing of the sick earlier in the week and was just not up to the fight anymore. The decision was made to let her go.
None of us were sure how long it would take but felt like she would make it through that night. She had been awake and alert all day - even cracking jokes!
We all left about 7pm that evening and about 8:30 I got a call that she was gone. She had made her decision and stuck to it by golly!
I can't believe she's gone. I'm happy for her. She has a daughter and many family members in Heaven and I'm so happy she's there with all of them. But I just HATE that she is not here anymore. I HATE, HATE, HATE it. I'm definitely in the anger stage of grieving right now. My granny was the sweetest and most amazing lady. Here are some of the thoughts I've had about her in the past few days...
- She was one of two people who call me Steph. Some of my family still calls me Stephanie, most people call me Stevie but only Granny and my brother call me Steph
- Her laugh was one of the most amazing things about her. Everyone has commented on her laugh. It came so easily and it was so genuine.
- She loved hearing about what was going on with me and my siblings as well as with my kids. My mom always mentions in passing that she talked to Granny and was telling her about whatever was going on with us.
- I remember when Doug and I started to try to get pregnant. On Mother's Day we went to have Mass at my Granny and Grandpa's church and they asked all of the mothers to stand up. I wished so badly that I could stand up with my mom and grandmother but I was having what I thought were physical signs that I wasn't pregnant. A couple of weeks later I found out I actually was pregnant and had been that day. I immediately remembered my grandmother had mentioned how special it was to have 3 generations represented that day. So I called her and said, "Granny, do you remember how you noticed that we had 3 generations at Mass on Mother's Day? Well, we actually had 4"! Of course, she started her Granny laugh and said how special that was and how happy she was to hear this news. She always delighted in my children.
- She always sent a card for every birthday and it was always signed Love, G & G. I can't stand the thought of my next birthday without that card.
- Granny loved family and genealogy. She loved searching out our family roots and she loved old family pictures. I used to love looking at the old pictures she'd dig up - I had no idea who any of them were but I loved looking at them with her just the same.
- For about the past year I have felt that I didn't have a lot of time left with my Granny and Grandpa and told myself to go out to visit them regularly. Especially this summer I had planned to go out there a lot. I didn't. I am trying to deal with my anger and disappointment in myself for not doing this. I am a terrible grand-daughter.
- My Granny and Grandpa were going to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary on the 15th of September. 65 years - can you imagine? I feel sick thinking of my grandfather spending that day without her here.
I'm going to stop now because I am about to start crying. I have a lot to do to be ready to go to the viewing tonight. Busy week coming up. I'm excited to get to see family though - especially my brother! I am depending on my Lord and His Word. I am depending on his Holy Mother and the comfort she gives us. But it's still very hard right now. And harder yet for my mom - I'll have to post about her later. She is a rock and I can only hope to be about half the person she is and was the past couple of weeks dealing with all of this.
I'd love prayers for my family right now - mostly for my grandfather and my mom and her siblings who are dealing with all of this.