Tonight's blog is dedicated to my Grandparents.
I was a silly, selfish brat as a child. I remember it clearly. It's odd but when looking back deep down I felt bad I acted this way. I suppose I didn't feel so good about myself. But you know what...My grandmother absolutely adored me and I knew it. I loved her more than anything in my life. (Still to this day she holds a special place in my heart unlike any other.) I felt whole when I was with her. She made me feel good. Something I didn't feel anywhere else, or wasn't mature enough to create. Without a doubt, I was more than a simple pain in the neck as a child. I had to be on the last nerve of my parents and siblings!
When she died I was 10 and she was only 64. I was completely and utterly devastated. Shocked. How could the only person who loved me sooo completely die? She told me all the time she would be fine and not to worry. As a young child, I believed her. I believed her with the whole of my being! When she died I was shaken to the core and couldn't see past my sorrow. She told me she was fine! I was sideswiped and never saw it coming. I didn't know the harsh realities of cancer in the early 80's. Chemotherapy was "cutting edge"! She wasn't ever going to get better.
I cared for her when she was ill so my grandfather could go to work. I thought I was visiting. In hindsight, I was sitting with her so she would not be alone while she was so sick. She talked to me, played cards with me, I brought her daffodils, she would lay and moan and reassure me it was simply in order to make her feel better, I didn't worry, she sang to me how much she loved me, I made her carnation instant breakfast vanilla flavor for her in the blender for lunch, I would even paint her nails. I remember the day my mom came back to be with Grammy and I ran off home to go play. This was the day I painted her nails red. She was laying in bed. I sat on the bed beside her. She told me I did an amazing job. I am sure it was shaky at best. Before I left, I hollered back the hall that I loved her and she told me to be a good girl now.
Not long after she went to the hospital. She never came home again. That same red polish I coated her nails with for the final time was what she was buried in.
All I remember is crying and crying about it. I couldn't understand?! Why me? Why her? She was my everything. The funeral came and went...it was such a blur through the tears. I couldn't stop crying about it. Then everyone went back to her house for food. They were eating and talking like nothing happened! WHO CAN EAT? HOW CAN YOU BE TALKING AND EVEN LAUGHING??? I wanted to scream!? Noone was understanding how I felt! I missed her dreadfully. I went into their spare bedroom and she had piles of her clothes on hangers on the bed. I collapsed on them in a bundle of tears. Smelling her...grasping for anything I could that was hers! I fell asleep. When I woke up, it ony hurt worse than it did before I fell asleep.
When I returned to school, my 5th grade teacher said how sorry he was to hear about my grandmother. I started to cry in class. I was mortified I was crying and I wanted everyone to stop talking about it! So I could quit crying about it. Someone teased me, I don't remember who. JD Yanek told them to shut up. How could they not understand my world literally had fallen apart!? How could they laugh about her dying???
The tears fell at the mere thought of her, or someone mentioning her, or something reminding me of her. I couldn't stop them. I would run for exercise and often ran to the cemetary and up to the top of the hill to where her stone was. I would be sobbing so hard I never knew how I would have the energy to run home. I cried at the mention of her name until I was 21. I suppose I didn't talk about her too much to keep from crying. That was 11 years. The wound was so deep. The day she died, a big part of me and who I was died too.
My sister would say she dreamed of her all the time. I was so jealous. Why wouldn't she come to me in my dreams? I wanted to talk to her, to feel her, to smell her again so bad. 11 years later, I had my first and only dream about Grammy. I walked into the basement of their house and immediately I was pulled by an invisible force to a tool sanding machine where my face came from inches of being harmed. All the machines had whirred on and were glowing a beautiful blue color. I was pulled back away from the machines as if floating while standing up and now standing before Grammy who was at the base of the stairs. She said to me, "Come here and give me a hug. (I did!!! Finally!) I love you and you be a good girl now." I have since never dreamed of her again. From that day on, I have never shed a tear again for her when I spoke of her.
That was until I heard about the kind hearted gesture Phyllis said to Grampy, before she left the hospital earlier this week, as he lay slipping closer to heaven..."Rest, Esther is waiting for you." There they were again, just like that, tears and a sob being choked back in my throat.
Although, those tears that came were of joy and happiness.
Grampy was 93, I am 37. He died yesterday. He slipped peacefully from this world into the next. He went to be with Grammy and leaving here was probably the easiest thing he ever had to do! 3 short hours after his 2 children made it from Florida to his bedside he took his last breath. He waited for them before he left because he loved them both dearly, despite any harsh word he ever spoke to them.
I loved spending time with him and learning so many things. I was always at his side as the years went by after Grammy's death. He gave me very grown up jobs to accomplish, painting houses inside and out, etc. that I was very young to do. But the message he bestowed upon me was. You can do it!!! (If I didn't do it right, he sure let me know about it too! :o) ) I would have never made it on my own as I grew into adulthood. Caring for a house and yard had he not empowered me with life skills to accomplish this. I am amazed at the things he has accomplished and will revisit those in a future blog.
The latter part of 2007 and early 2008 found my grandfather deteriorating. We believe he suffered several strokes and had been fighting with Dementia most of 2007. A man of his stature and accomplishments should never have been forced to become so childlike again. I imagine God gives the gift of Dementia so you don't realize you just had an accident in your pants or you are wearing a boot, meant for a sore foot, on your head. I hated to see him suffering and prayed for an easy peaceful death for him. He was blessed with that.
Now here are two different versions of the same story....Death. One is a tragedy, the other a blessing.
I loved them both dearly.
It's time to get the children's book published that I wrote for them while I was taking a literature class in college. It's called, The Spring Secret.