Sunday, April 22, 2012

Difficult Day Ahead

These past few days have been both physically and emotionally exhausting. The day after I wrote my last post, hospice was asked to come alongside Gram for this next stage of her journey. It's a journey we all must take one day, yet our hearts kinda just wished Gram would somehow be an exception and just keep adding an ongoing sweetness to our lives. Oh, she has touched us in ways that have changed us forever and her sweetness will always live on in our hearts and the lives we live.  Yet, I will never again get a sweet unexpected email from her again, like I did last Saturday. Our holiday cards from her will stop brightening my mailbox. I will not get to sit lakeside with her this summer and sip lemonade while both talking about memories of years gone by and making new ones. She's lived a lifetime and a half in her 94 years and she has lived them well.

Today is our last day to see her before we begin our 17 hour drive back home. She is still able to fully comprehend all we have to share with her, but she can no longer use her words to speak back. She now only communicates with her eyes - and her gestures. And since it's been said that one's eyes are the windows to their soul, it's good to still be able to connect with her so deeply. But how do you say goodbye to one you love so dearly? Well, for me, it will be 'see you later' - knowing that 'cuz she loves Jesus - I will see her again on the other side of this journey. And though there has been nothing we've been able to do to help her - I hope she has only felt love poured into her these past few days as her family has gathered near her as she finds the courage to journey on. We still wish for a miracle, that her brain will remember how to speak and swallow food and water again - we hate that it might end like this for her, but it is not our miracle to give. We can only love.

Gram has loved well, and thus, taught us through her example, how to live well. Her beautiful legacy is made up of a million moments in the routine of days - of simply loving well, being generous, forgiving, thinking of others, spreading kindness, and brightening this world with handmade quilts and beautiful smiles. I'm so thankful that through knowing Mike, I got to know and love this beautiful soul these past 20 years, and that she chose to be my "Gram" too. I love her very much!
Summer 2010


Oregon Mooneys said...

Having lost my paternal grandfather back in December and maternal grandmother only a few years back, I feel your pain and joy. Funny thing how grandparents are a part of our lives - sometimes transparent, often far off in distance, occasionally (though unintentionally) forgotten, but still ever-present in reality. Then, suddenly, when things start to go wrong or their lives look shorter than expected, it is so obvious how they have impacted us. Like you, I saw, and am lucky enough to still see with just one remaining, mine as assets for my life. How differently I would have turned out had my grandparents not been themselves or been absent from my life. So today, I'll celebrate Gram and her life with you, adding PawPaw Billy, Grandma Jewell and Grandpa Marvin to the long, distinguished list of grandparents by whom we are all glad to have been known.

Heidi @ The Good Stuff Guide said...

Oh Cathy, I'm sorry you're going through this right now. What a legacy of a loving, dedicated family she leaves (for now, like you said). My best to you, Mike and the girls during this difficult time.

Lori N said...

Cathy, you write beautifully. I am sure you have blessed Gram in many ways over the last several years. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Cathy said...

Thank you, everyone. I'm thankful for the opportunity we had to be with her this weekend