There is another person that has been on my mind this past year, every day since last January 18th. My Grandma, the only one I ever knew, died suddenly one year ago today.
She was out shopping that day with her husband Bob, later he told me they were shopping for warm sleepers for my kids. You see, Grandma always hounded me that my house, and therefore my children, were freezing! She had even gone to stores looking for electric blankets that would fit cribs. Oh Grandma! I guess I could understand why she felt that way, since every time we went to her house I was sweating like crazy within 5 minutes. After shopping that day, she and Bob had dinner and then were sitting at the table when she had a massive stroke. By the time Mom and I got to the hospital she was gone, but being kept alive on a ventilator. I was just shocked, totally shocked to lose someone I loved so quickly. We held her hands and let her go, still unable to comprehend what had happened. As we consoled Bob and tried to figure out what in the world to do next, I remember being so upset because Brady's big scan appointment was the coming Wednesday. How could I possibly handle going to that appointment after just losing my grandma? I remember my mom assuring me that I had to keep it, Grandma would want me to.
The next few days were a blur of grieving, planning, sorting through pictures...all the while my anxiety about Brady remained. I knew we would be getting the confirmation that he did in fact have CP at this appointment that week. I think we had settled that Grandma's memorial service would be at the end of the week.
Well Wednesday came, and you know how the story went. All of a sudden my heart was thrust into an unimaginable place where I could no longer feel the sadness over losing my Grandma because I was in shock, utter shock, about Brady's diagnosis. I don't think I'll ever live another week like that one. I honestly just started hyperventilating from the moment we found out until about 24 hours later when I finally called my doctor to give me something to help me breathe and function. Those next days were such a complete blur. It was a critical time for Brady after that first surgery, and we were being completely immersed into the world of Neuroblastoma. I remember the burning feeling in my eyes, from exhaustion and total grief. My family decided to push the memorial service back to Sunday so that my sister could get into town and I could try and come.
There was a lot of discussion about whether or not I should go. I wanted to go and I felt I needed to go. I remember just sitting in the pew that day, feeling the sadness that I would never see my Grandma again on this Earth, but then quickly feeling the most awful sense of fear about Brady. I didn't get up to speak about Grandma as everyone else in the family did. I just couldn't, I wasn't even thinking clearly.
The enormity of that week didn't allow me to truly grieve for Grandma. In my heart, it wasn't about her that day, it just couldn't be. I felt terrible about that, but didn't know how to feel both things at once. So my mourning has taken place in the quiet moments throughout the past year when I think of Grandma, realize she isn't here, and miss her so very much. She was truly unforgettable...
When I see the white tea pot with tiny purple flowers that she gave me, I think of my grandma.
When mom and I tried to recreate her famous peppery Thanksgiving stuffing, I thought of her.
When I try and fill a spot in my home with just the right thing, I think of Grandma and her amazing decorating talents.
As I wrapped Christmas gifts this year, I thought of Grandma and her gorgeous gifts that we always wrapped perfectly.
When I bounce a ball with my kids, I remember my ever-spry Grandma bouncing a ball, swinging her leg over it, and singing "One, Two, Three, O-Larry!"
Whenever I see a ballroom dancer, I think of Grandma and Bob and how they stole the show on the dancefloor wherever they went!
I think of Grandma's amazing generosity and how she gave to me in such meaningful ways.
When I see the love my mom has for me and my children, I think about the legacy of love that she gave to our family.
I truly miss you Grandma. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to say these things out loud before. I pray that someday my kids will read this and know that they had a Great-Grandma who was loved and that loved them so much.