Wednesday, March 12, 2014

where i've been

underneath this blog is a person. with a voice. with a story to tell. but without a whole lot of extra time to sit down and type. but this space is just for me, and maybe someday my kids to see memories in words and pictures. with that said what i have to say today is not pleasant. but it is a time i want to remember. because remembering is all i have left.


february began with a bang. G's grandmother was admitted to the hospital on superbowl sunday after falling and breaking her hip. again. after surgery it seemed like everything would be okay but then she got pneumonia. 

right around the time she was diagnosed with pneumonia my grandfather was admitted to the hospital for congestive heart failure. which sounds like a big deal. but he came out of the same exact thing last summer, so we were hopeful for the same. except then he also got pneumonia. and went into acute kidney failure.

by the morning of february 5 we heard that G's grandmother was doing much better. that afternoon we heard that my grandfather was being placed in hospice care. so much can change in a few days. and so we hopped in the car and headed to NJ to be with my grandfather, in the hopes that G's grandmother would continue to improve here in NC. 

i honestly didn't think we would make it to NJ in time. but we did. and G and i stayed until Sunday listening to my grandfather gurgle and struggle and slowly slip away. by Sunday he was suffering so much that i had to ignore all the nurses who kept telling me he wasn't in pain. and we had to leave because of our jobs. 

ten hours later and forty minutes from home we got the call that G's grandmother was also being placed under hospice care. we basically went straight to the hospital to be with G's grandmother and sat bedside over the next two days watching her gurgle and struggle and suffer, just like my grandfather.

and then i lost it. tuesday night in a hospice care center. i just felt the weight of it all crash on top of me. waiting by the phone to hear my grandfather was gone. guilty and heartsick that i wasn't by his side. aching for my husband as he struggled with the same grief for his own grandmother. jealous that he could hold her hand and sing to her and whisper that he loved her just one more time. and then one more.


one thing you have to know is that it rarely snows in NC. and almost never snows in february.

on wednesday at 6:30 in the morning my dad called. i knew what for. he was gone. his race was finally won. i went to work anyway. and so did G. as soon as we got to work it started to snow. and kept snowing. by two that afternoon we were both home. trapped under several inches of snow and sleet. at 4:30 that afternoon G's dad called. she was gone. her race finally won.

then, in the ultimate slap in the face by fate, their funeral services were on the exact same day. almost 600 miles apart. so when the snow cleared that weekend i hopped back in the car to go back to NJ to say goodbye to my grandfather while G stayed here to say goodbye to his grandmother.

and i won't say how i really felt about not being with my husband for that day and those goodbye's. but we made it. as a team. and we're stronger for it than if it had gone a different way.


and the thing about closure is that it feels absolutely complete and totally empty at the same time. i'll always wish i could have my grandfather back for one more minute to say "i love you" one more time. but i'd never wish him back to this broken world from where he's at now.

you have to know. he's my favorite. i know i'm not supposed to have favorites when it comes to people. but he was my favorite grandparent. and he would never admit it, but i was his favorite too. some of my best childhood memories are from spending time with him. sitting next to him while he played organ for me. listening to jazz on record. playing cards. going on walks. eating in little mom and pop diners. the simple, beautiful things of earlier generations.

G and i like to think that our grandparents met each other on february 12 in eternity and had a sweet little chat about how they had sons with the same name who had children that grew up and fell in love. and how they knew we'd still love the Lord after all we'd been through. we'd like to think they stood next to each other as they met Jesus face-to-face.