“Just one more lap around the track Grandma? Then can we go to K-mart and get some jelly princess shoes?”.
God bless her for having to put up with me and my crazy stories and odd requests. My Grandmom must have bought me about 10 pairs of those jelly shoes, along with who knows what else I swindled out of her whenever she took me to the store.
Almost every Saturday, from what I can remember, my parents would drop me off at my grandparents house. My guess is that my parents needed some adult time with their friends and I was fine with that. In fact, I was more than fine with it. I loved going to my Grandmom’s. I remember begging my parents to take me there sometimes. I knew that trips to my Grandmom’s meant I can use whatever I could find of hers to aid in my elaborate stories that my imagination conjured up. A few of these crazy adventures include me driving around in this little go cart that she had in her basement. I would pretend that it was my car and she was the police chasing me. Somehow, I always ended up with a ticket. Other times I would end up in her room trying on all her jewelry and hats. I imagined I was a princess living in a castle. On occasion, I would sneak upstairs into the attic in search of some long-lost treasure that I was determined to find. Those adventures never lasted very long. As soon as she realized I was missing, she knew exactly where to find me and that would be the end of that.
Saturdays at my Grandmom’s were the greatest. She pretty much let me do whatever I wanted and bought me anything I asked for (well almost anything). She was like a second mom to me. Even as I grew older I still always loved visiting with her. She had the greatest stories to share and fun little gifts to give. She was and still is such a blessing to me.
As I sit beside her now, much more fragile than she was before, I hate to wonder if this it for her. I have never seen her like this. Even at her worst, she still had a smart remark to come back with or a funny comment about her situation, but today, this time, it was different.
There were no words.
Heavy, labored, effortful breaths.
The oxygen mask covering her face was the only thing that seemed to keep her from struggling to get air.
That night on my way home I had to prepare myself. I was expecting the worse, but still hoping for the best. The following day I received call from my dad telling me that the doctors wanted to bring in hospice care. I knew that was not good.
I prayed very hard that night and I asked God to give me a peace about it. If He was ready to take her home I needed to be okay with it.
Throughout the following day all I could think about was getting home so I could see her again. When the time came, I knew what I was going to say to her. I was going to let her know how much I loved her and how much I appreciated her for what she has done.
But, when my husband and I walked into the room, I couldn’t believe what I saw. There was my grandmother sitting up in a chair, without the oxygen mask, and wouldn’t you know it, she was saying something smart to the nurse, because I could here the nurse say to her, “Yes Mary, but you can’t sit in the chair all night”. I apologized to the nurse and commented on how she can be very stubborn.
But was stubborn really the right word?
I thought about it for awhile and decided she is not so much stubborn as she is determined. She’s got strength. She’s a fighter!!
In the past year or two, my grandmother has been in the hospital several times. Last Christmas she was in the hospital because she broke her ankle. This Christmas she ended up in the hospital, because when she went to the hospital for something minor, she ended up breaking her hip. Now she is in the hospital for pneumonia and she turns 93 today! She has been through a lot, but she always fights through.
I had a pretty rough day today. Well, all things considered, my day was only rough because I got up on the wrong side of the bed, got into a little tiff with one of my students, and there were a few other minor things that aren’t worth mentioning because you would prob think I was ridiculous.
Meanwhile, my Grandmom is celebrating her 93rd birthday in a hospital!! I plan on going to visit her again tomorrow and when I do, I just want to sit there with her and I tell her,
Thank you for being so strong.
Thank you for being so determined!
Thank you for having so much will power and drive that inspires me to be a better person!
There are a lot of people that I admire and a lot of people that I look up, but none like my Grandmom!
She is a fighter and she doesn’t give up!
And I thank God that it is not her time yet.
Happy Birthday Mary Riley.
This post is part of the series, Made It Through Mondays.
I linked up over at holleygerth.com