A Life Not In Pictures

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A couple of weeks ago on Facebook, I alluded to some family issues that would be keeping me occupied. What I was referring to was that my grandmother (who I was extremely close with) had become very sick, and her medicine was no longer working. Less than an hour after I posted that, I got the call that she had passed.

This has been a really difficult time for me.

My grandma and I have always had a special bond that transcended that of just your regular grandparent-grandchild relationship.

In my somewhat tumultuous life, my grandma was the one constant. She was always there for me, and always made me feel like I was a priority. She was always supportive, and she was always proud of me.

She was my best friend.

She had a difficult life full of abuse and hardship, but even so, she was still one of the most giving people I'd ever met. She would keep things on hand in case someone needed it down the road. She gave to many charities, and volunteered her time keeping dying people company when they were in hospice care.

She was always beyond generous with me, offering me a home when I didn't have one. Not only was she the first person to hold me, but my mother and I lived with her for the first year of my life. When I needed somewhere to stay a couple of years later, I went to live with my grandparents. When I found myself suddenly homeless shortly before I turned 20, my grandma was there, and she gave me a home for the next two years until I moved in with Tom. She let me use her car to get to work (even though I accidentally smacked the back into a telephone pole) before I had my own. She loaned us money to help cover the deposit on our current apartment. She's done so much more for me than she needed to.

Normally, a post like this would be accompanied by pictures, but if there was one thing my grandma hated, it was having attention called to herself, and that included photographs. My cousin found ONE picture of her smiling (on accident!) when he was looking for a picture for the obituary. I used to tease her and tell her that when we'd be eating out, I'd tell them it was her birthday; she would then threaten to disown me. It makes me kind of sad to think that I no longer even have the opportunity.

(ETA: After cleaning out her house a bit a few months after her death, my cousin and I found some of her childhood pictures, so I wanted to put my favorite in. It's been my lock screen since I found it.)

I can't help but feel a little guilty though, because I feel like she kept holding out for me. Her health had really declined considerably since I moved to Lafayette, and there were several times in the past few years where she told me she didn't think she'd be around much longer. I would always tell her that she had to stick around because I needed her, and because she needed to be around to see my kids (which obviously will never happen now, and that breaks my heart).

In the last couple of months when we would talk, she would always tell me that she felt bad, because she thought that me worrying about her was adding unnecessary stress and adding to my fertility issues (she did know about the PCOS, and she was probably the biggest supporter of my desire to have a child, because she knew it was important to me). I told her I didn't care, and that she was more of a priority to me, because she was (plus worrying is one of the things I do best; I get that from her). When she called me the Friday before she passed to let me know that she was not responding to medicine and that they didn't think she had much longer, she actually apologized to me because she didn't think she'd be there to see my kids.  It made me realize that I had basically been guilting her into sticking around, because there were times when she definitely felt ready to die, but I wasn't ready for her to die. I'm still not ready, and she's been gone two weeks now.

The funny thing is, I think that I'm going to get pregnant soon now. Tom and I went to see her a couple of days before she died, and after we left, I looked at him and said, "You know what's going to happen? She's going to die, and I'm going to get pregnant." Obviously, I would LOVE to be pregnant, but I wish more than anything that she could be here for that. But maybe she wanted to hand-pick our baby or something (silly, maybe, but you never know). Although a psychic once told my mom that I was my grandma's beloved grandma reincarnated (nobody believes that), so maybe my first child will be my grandma reincarnated (I don't actually believe that either, but it's funny to think about). And strangely enough, I think I may have actually ovulated this cycle; it's still a little early to know (I'm on CD 16), but my temperatures seem to support the idea.

Unfortunately, the night before we went to see her, she took a turn for the worse, so we weren't really able to talk (she could hear us, but she couldn't communicate back very well, and she spent a lot of the time sleeping), but it was still nice to be there. I told her it was okay if she needed to go, and that I was sorry if  she felt like she needed to stay because of me. Best of all, my mom came to see her too (they had an estranged relationship, and hadn't seen one another in years), and that meant so much to me, and I'm sure it meant a  lot to my grandma too. As upsetting as it was to see my grandma like that, I'm very glad I got to see her one last time.

I just really hate that she's not here anymore. She's been such a major part of my life from the moment I was born, and I don't know how to not have her. I just love her so much.

Rest in peace, grandma. You are greatly missed.

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