As I lay here in bed, on this cold and dark morning, I feel numb. Emotionally and physically. My face is swollen and my head is foggy.
I can’t help but think, “It was all a dream. . . “
For the past seven days, I have been by my grandmother’s side during the last days of her life. Holding her hand, telling her stories and comforting her. Like most things, you never realize how special or important things are until the dramatic, final moments. Our bond – it was special. All I have been able to focus on is how thankful I am for my grandmother and how thankful I am for truly and personally and fully getting to know her.
As a kid and an adolescent, I saw peers with younger grandmothers who were more active or involved in their everyday lives – I used to envy them. I could only think about the fact that my grandma was 71 years my senior and there wasn’t much activity in our relationship. But now, I realize how wrong I was to envy.
My grandmother was incredibly bright. She was a pioneer for her time. She was a RN for a major hospital in Indiana for 40 years. She crocheted afghans with precision, as a hobby. She raised four wonderful children and played a vital role in all of her grandchildren’s lives. She had some very challenging, hard times in her life and still kept a positive outlook.
She was an inspiration.
So instead of her playing with me, we would sit together. We would talk. We would reminisce.
Spending time out on her farm as a child are some of my most favorite memories.
We would talk and talk about who knows what but it brought smiles to both of our faces.
She came out to stay with my mother and I for about three or four months every year for more than half a decade. At the time, it just seemed routine but now I realize how precious and special that time was. My mother was going through her second doctoral program at that time so my grandmother and I spent a lot of time together, just her and I. I will forever cherish that.
She made me feel safe. And whole. And supported.
A dear family friend sent me a message this morning saying that we have three generations of extremely strong women in our family. What an honor to read that (thank you, Mary Ann). I give so much credit to my mother for the way she raised me, all on her own. But this week re-emphasized the extremely important role that my grandma played in setting my foundation as a woman, an entrepreneur and one day, a mother.
She touched thousands of lives as a nurse. She built a big, loving, beautiful family. She lived a long, strong life of 95 years.
What a beautiful life.
Yesterday, the light was beautiful in the morning. Needing a bit of fresh air, Aaron and I stepped outside and wandered my grandmother’s land. Not far from her property, there is this beautiful, open field of yellow flowers.
She loved little yellow and blue floral print. She always had the most precious bedding and sheets in her home. Her bedroom walls are painted cornflower blue. She would have loved to see this – this field so open and so beautiful. These are for her.
Grandma, I love you more than words can describe. Thank you for everything you gave me, all the advice and love and quality time.
I will forever cherish you.