|Here is a picture of Grandma enjoying a glass of tea on my front porch.
I was blessed to live only 30 minutes away from Grandma during her last few years of life. My boys and I visited her often, and they came to love her as much as I did. I went to see her twice the week she died, and really thought she was doing better, so it came as a shock to me when I found myself in the hospital’s ICU early on Friday, November 9th, knowing that she wouldn’t be with us much longer.
I had the immeasurable gift of being with her that last day, and even though Grandma could not respond, I talked to her like I always did—about our family and all of the wonderful memories we had shared. I showed her videos of my sister’s new baby and her other great grandchildren on my iphone. I held her hand and prayed with her, and told her, again, exactly what she has always meant to me. I talked about every single person in our family, and reminded her how much we all loved her. She couldn’t speak, but earlier in the day I *know* I felt her squeeze my hand several times, and I have to believe she heard me. When she finally passed away later that evening, my parents, my aunt and uncle, my two cousins, and I were all gathered around her. It was a sacred moment, and so sad. But I knew that Grandma had finally gone home, and for days the foremost thought in my head was that she was reunited with loved ones long gone, and that she was finally at peace.
Now that four months have gone by, I miss her SO much! I can't just go see her whenever I want to, and that has been the hardest thing for me. In a few hours, my boys and I will drive out to the cemetery where she is buried and leave flowers where generations of my father's family have been laid to rest. We will remember her and send her heartfelt "Happy Birthday" wishes, sad (I am sure) but secure in the knowledge that one day we WILL see her again.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Grandma, with my boys Will and Ben in 2008.
Aren't they adorable?