My grandma was a dame. After my step-grandpa died she was still turning down suitors well into her 80s, many of whom she’d breeze past with nary a “hello”. She was an incredibly wise woman. I loved spending time with her. One day, I surprised her with a “Macklemore” ‘Glorious moment’ and picked Grandma up in a new Lincoln Continental to take her anywhere she wanted, spending the day however she pleased.
I’ll remember the day forever.
Grandma and I had a lot of great days together. She made the best nanaimo bars.
As a child, I would have sleepovers at her house in her big water bed, watching movies she’d rent for me and reading new comic books she’d buy me. I was at her house the night Princess Diana was killed. I went everywhere with Grandma. We had so many memories.
All her life my grandma had ails, aches and pains. So much so, that when I was going to be married, I showed up at the hospital in my wedding dress to model it for her so she could see what I would look like as a bride. She always pulled through.
I encouraged Grandma to be healthy. I pushed her to drink a lot of water and eat healthy.
She always tried for me. I was her favorite.
All my life, I looked forward to the day my grandmas would see my baby. When I had baby, grandma wasn’t feeling well, but this was ‘normal’.
Accustomed to her ailments, I was in denial about the severity of her condition.
Grandma was a strong woman who always prevailed. After my baby was born, I waited until she was 8 days old to take her to the nursing home to see grandma. Grandma didn’t have much of an appetite in the days leading up to my visit with her. When I brought baby to her with my mom, grandma perked up and fell in love. She asked to hold the baby. We posed for a photo together, 4 generations in one shot. She looked at me and said “I’ve been waiting for this moment. I am dying.”
I thought to myself “no you aren’t dying grandma, I’ll see you next week,”
After 15 minutes we ended our visit, as it wasn’t safe for the baby to spend a lot of time in the nursing home rife with respiratory illness. The last thing I said to Grandma when we left that day was:
“I love you Grandma”.
The next day, grandma slept through the day and did not eat much. She had gone through hard times before so I wasn’t concerned. She had a lot of visitors, including my mom, who was worried about her condition and lack of appetite. That night, after her final visitor left, grandma passed away in her sleep around 7:30 at night.
I was in complete shock. It was so unexpected.
A million thoughts raced through my mind:
“Why didn’t I stay longer?” “She isn’t gone,” “I miss my grandma” “She needs to see my baby grow up”
“We need to spend more time together,”
How was I to know this time would be the last time I saw my Grandma? All my life Grandma had illnesses; ups and downs. She was always telling me her latest plight. How could I have been so dismissive of the severity of her condition? She really was dying this time. Grandma knew she was dying and told me she waited 8 days for me to bring the new baby in so she could see her. My grandma held out to see the baby and then passed on her own terms, after the final visitor of the day left. Grandma wanted it that way.
The moral of this story is to cherish every moment you have with your loved ones. Stay a little longer; and always, always tell your loved ones you love them.
It is said when people pass on, their soul has achieved everything they were born here to do. When we are thinking of someone who has passed, it is because they are thinking of us too. It brings me great comfort to know my grandma enjoys a view of each of my daughter’s moments from a place in another realm.