Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm Delighted

I awoke Tuesday morning to me checking my phone. Did I just call Andres? Did my mom just call me? Sure enough, at 8:33 A.M. my mom called me. "Julie, it's Mom. I wanted to call and let you know that I'm here at the hospital with Grandma. We brought her in last night." The rest of the conversation was a blur. I called Andres. That too was a blur.

The past few weeks I've been having very vivid dreams about my grandparents. Some about their death, some about their health, some just about them in general. So, when my phone rang that Tuesday morning, I thought it was the ending of one of my dreams. I would give anything for that to be true.

I completely woke up and showered and had full intentions of going to the hospital before I had to be at work at noon. My mom called me just as I was about to put on my makeup. "Just calling to see how you're doing." I responded with a tearful, "I just want her to be ok." Her response was what made me rush to the hospital, "I know you do." Not a "She will." My sister then called me and asked me what she should do. Since my mother wasn't the best at communicating the sencerity of the situation. I told her that if I was her, to come now. I told her I'd call her when I got to the hospital.

I arrived at the hospital to be greeted by Mom and my cousin, Kelly. Apparently, the doctors wanted to do a cardio cathater. It was their hope that she would make it. Well, they weren't able to perform it because she had 99% clogged arteries. The doctor then gave her a 50/50. I called Christine and told her to come right away. So, at 9:15, she left and headed into town.

Mom then escorted us upstairs where we saw Sue in the waiting room. We walked into the I.C.U. and upon entering my grandmothers room, I was greeted with by my father with open arms. Before I could ask any questions, I fell into his arms and cried. This lasted for a good few minutes. I got a grip and saw her lying there. She had an oxygen mask on. All of my aunts and uncles were there along with my cousins, Kelly, Trish, Carley and Elyse. I left the room to call Andres. He was trying to get out of work.

I went back into the room around 10 o'clock and stayed. I carressed her left arm as she layed on her right side. Jane and Sue held her hands. Mom was in and out of the room. I guess she was in charge of the phonecalls. Sue said, "She said to me awhile back during the election, 'I don't want to be here when a democrat is elected into office. I'm gonna be in heaven.' " Well, Obama was to be sworn in exactly an hour from that moment. We tried talking to her. Sue and Jane messed around with trying to get her hearing aide in until they gave up. Jane fed her icecubes. She said she was nauceaus.

Then, it began. Around, maybe 10:30, Grandma said, "I can't hold on any longer. I can't hold on." Sue, grasping her mothers hand, said, "It's ok mom, you can let go. We'll take care of dad. There's a bunch of people here. You're a popular lady." She said again, "I can't hold on." Sue assured her it was ok. We stood there crying around her. Then grandma said, "I'm delighted." Sue asked her what she saw. "I'm delighted,"Grandma said again. Then some silent moments passed and Jane cried, "It's time. Her vidals are dropping." I gasped, took a deep breath and ran out to get my dad because he wasn't in the room at that moment.

I saw Trish and Kelly on my way to find dad. I told them it was time. My dad was walking towards me when I saw him. I grabbed his hand, "it's time, dad." We ran into the room together. Sue and Jane stood to her right, holding her hands. Dad and I stood to her left. She was laying on her right side. I carressed her arm and told her I loved her. Trish and Kelly stood next to me. I was clenching onto my dad and Kelly and Trish. And before I knew it, she took her last breath.

It was the most intense, beautiful, sad, bittersweet moment of my life. And I won't ever forget it.

I called Andres. He said was leaving soon. I told him tearfully, "She's gone." He cried, "I didn't get to say goodbye." Tom arrived as I was on the phone with Andres. I cried in his arms. We weren't able to get ahold of Mike and I was beginning to worry. Mom was in the waiting room on the phone with Christine when Grandma passed. Christine told mom, "Go in there and tell her to wait for me." Mom decided not to tell her till she got there. But when Christine called me a little while later, I handed the phone to dad. He told her and she was overwelmed with sadness. We told her we'd wait for her so she could see grandma. We went downstairs and waited for her.

By the time Christine got there, people were heading out. "I should've left right when mom called me," she cried. But we had no idea how severe it was. It happened so fast. We took Christine into the room. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to handle it so Tom and I stood outside the room. But Tom said, "I'd rather be in there than out here looking in." So we went in there. She was lying exactly how she was when she took her last breath. She was so still and peaceful.

None of what I just wrote felt real. I guess, now it does. She was 87 years old.

Seeing my dad was one of the hardest things. Him saying to all of us, "I didn't know how this would feel. It hurts."

As I sit here in her old home, it's as quiet as can be and I'm ok with it. I feel a sense of peace. She was lucky enough to go surrounded by loved ones. Except my grandfather. That's what is hurting me. My aunts keep talking about what to "do about him." I just want him to be ok. I want him to know that the woman that he shared 66+ years with died with nothing but love in her heart. I want him to know that, and remember it.

Tomorrow is her wake. I want to wake up from this bad dream.

My dad was talking about my grandfather and his dimensia. He said, "After 66 years with someone, there must be a great sense of loss. I can't imagine. And he barely can feel that. And I think I would want to feel it." What he said saddens him the most is that she died with a bit of disconnection from him.

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