My grandma. She was one of the strongest, the kindest, most loving person you would ever meet. Her laugh was contagious, her smile warm and kind. Her heart loving and gentle.
When she found out it was back she didn’t want to tell us. She didn’t want to worry us.
Chemo and radiation treatments wore her down but she would still smile no matter what. Her strength encouraging. She fought for so long yet she held on with all her might. We moved her from the hospital to a nursing/rehabilitation center.
In the beginning she would say “Feels like i slept on a sack of potatos. This thing ain’t comfortable at all.” I gathered she didn’t like it there very much. Luckily the place was a mile away from my work. I ate lunch with her almost every day . Went after work for dinner. We talked and had a few laughs. Trying to keep her spirits up
One day, during my lunch break I went to see her. I asked her how she was doing. I told her to be honest. We had a long conversation about how she felt and what she wanted. I’ll never forget that conversation because it absolutely broke my heart.
She said “You know at this point I know I’m not leaving here.” I asked her what that meant. She replied “Well I’m not getting better every day is harder than the last.” I asked her what I could do. “I’m not sure, but I just want to go home.”
With my heart broken into a billion little pieces I replied “I promise you will be home for Christmas.”
This conversation took place four days before Thanksgiving. Three weeks later she was in ICU. She was going down hill so fast. She was fading and I couldn’t do anything to help her.
It was three days before Christmas Eve. My mom, dad, brother, grandpa and I sat down at a table in the waiting room of ICU. We were all just silent for a long time. My mom spoke first “The doctors told us we need to make some decisions.”
I said boldly “I’ve already made my decision, Home, we need to take her home.” They just looked at me. I pushed my chair back and stood up. “I promised her she would be home for Christmas so she is going home for Christmas.” And that was what was decided, Home health came and we brought her home.
She had a breathing mask on, but she still wanted to talk. She wanted us to hold her hands which were ice cold. She wanted to fight though she knew it was time to let go.
Some of the last clear words I got from her was “promise me“. Those two words stand out the most, those words struck my heart like lightning.
I held her hand and made another promise. I promised we would look after one another, that we would be careful and to love each other always. I asked her if that was a good promise. She nodded and dozed off. Me and her really didn’t talk much after that conversation. I just wanted her to rest. What i really wanted was for her to just pop up out of bed like nothing happened. It got harder and harder for her to talk, to move . Harder and harder for me to watch and wait. She struggled to stay strong, but it was killing her. We simply said “You can let go, don’t worry we will be alright. We love you and it’s just fine.”
I Kept my promise even though it broke my heart to do so. She passed away December 27th, 2015. She was home for Christmas just like she wanted. Her last days were with us surrounding her.
Everything about this incredible woman made her strong, caring, loving and warm. Every time you would walk out her door her words would be “Be careful, I love you and I will see ya later.”
This day was probably one of the lowest points my depression had ever hit. I was struggling to keep my head up even though I was weighed down by all my thoughts, feelings, and even choices I had made.
I was numb. My depression clouded everything. I felt…cold and alone. Like the only way from here was to keep sinking. But it wasn’t. I had to come back up. I skimmed the surface only to breathe. I’m better now.
I never once shared that conversation I had with her to anyone until now.