Friday, March 4, 2011

Will This Be Our Last Time Together?

IMG_5396 A week ago, my boys’ great gram, who turned 96 in January, went home from the hospital. From what I understood, she wasn’t doing well. Last week I heard from my mom that my grandma, who’s 93, is in the hospital and being fed intravenously.

I decided I needed to take the boys to see great gram (boys’ dad side) one last time, in case it was in fact the last time they got to see her. We headed down to see her at Auntie B’s house. I had no idea what to expect, but I did talk to the boys.

It was important that the boys understood before we got there that this would probably be the last time they got to see her. She’s been a vital part of their lives, all our lives. We spend every Fourth of July up at her home with the entire extended family. We used to go up there every few weekend from Spring to Fall, but gas prices, and life changed that. Time came that we only went up a few times a year.IMG_5389

Those few times had the boys playing dominoes and making puzzles with her. Being at great grams was always a sweet and memorable time for all of us.

Unfortunately, when we got to Auntie B’s house, I realized great gram isn’t doing well at all. She was sleeping at the table and would wake up occasionally then go back to sleep. It was very distressing for everyone.

Great gram is distraught that her grandson and I are getting divorced. She kept asking me not to get divorced and telling me how much he loved me. At first I just kept telling her, “I know.” This went on the entire time we were there which was about an hour and a half.IMG_5391

Auntie B. asked her to stop talking about it because of the boys and then she asked the boys and her grandson to go play ping pong. Poor great gram is heavily medicated and this was definitely nothing she was intending to do. I think she wanted to know before she died that we weren’t going to get divorced. It broke my heart to see her so upset.

I decided it was time for us to go. I had no idea that my presence would be so upsetting to great gram. I didn’t want her to continue to get upset every time she woke up and saw me. It also made me sad that this would be the last memory the boys would have of their great grandma.IMG_5393

Truly, I had no idea the state of health she was in. I wish I had known. I probably wouldn’t have gone down with the boys. It never occurred to me to ask if she was lucid. There are so many things I wished for this evening.

What I am thankful for tonight is the time the boys were able to give their gifts to great gram. She perked up and they enjoyed opening them for her. It was a sweet moment. My prayer is that this is what they remember from their time with her tonight.IMG_5395

Have you ever known the last time you were going to see a loved one? Do you wish you hadn’t or are you glad you did?


Unknown said...

I was just doing a post about my grandma. she died when i was 16. I remember my great grandparents..actually i have only 1 memory of them. its good to build memories whenever we can :) stay strong momma!

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

It's so hard. When my grandfather passed, he had been declining for some time, but at the very end had a stroke that really incapacitated him... he was gone within 48 hours. My cousin called me and when I got there, he knew who I was and could say my name, but he was thrashing in bed and his speech was slurred... my parents were away and by the time they got there hours later, he couldn't speak and was more or less comatose... hospice came in and my dad, cousin and fiance carried him to the hospital bed in the living room.. my mom helped sponge bath him and changed his diapers and all I could think was that my grandfather,who was such a proud man, would have been mortified if he'd been able. But, while I'm remembering this now, it's not how I remember him most often. I remember looking in his garden for the Johnny on the Pulpit and picking strawberries in his garden. I remember when at 70, he decided to snow ski again and my mom knocked him off the ramp getting off the chair life and I remember one summer when my dad was really sick with a virus and my grandfather stepped in to help my dad finish a painting job. We were painting the sunny side of a house in 98 degree heat with him lecturing me on how to do it right and me just wanting to get the paint on the dang house so we could get out of the stinkin' sun! I hope you and your boys are able to remember the good times more so than the last time.

Shell said...

I think it's good to know- to be able to cherish that timea nd not take it for granted.

But, still, so hard. Sending your family prayers.

Susie B. Homemaker said...

My grandma just passed away a little over a month ago. I wrote a couple posts on my blog about it. We knew she was near the end (she was 92) but it's still so hard. I was actually with her the night before and she passed away the next day.

She also got to see my 3 girls the summer before, while she was still more like herself. I think it's important you got to see her so close to the end, you would've regretted it if you hadn't. For your boys I think you just need to focus on the good memories they have of her.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Penelope said...

I saw my grandpa right before he died. I knew he was dying. He had alzheimers and for a long time didn't recognize anyone. Right before he died, he recognized us during our last visit. It was a miracle for me, so I'm eternally grateful I saw him.

Unknown said...

My Grandma passed away this past summer and my Grandpa the summer before. I knew she wasn't doing well but didn't think she would go so quickly after we arrived. I feel like she waited for us to get there so she could meet my little Oliver and then she asked to stop treatment. :( It was more sad to me that she was lucid and made a conscious decision that it was time to go then. I am SO glad that we were able to go and be with her and that she got to meet my son and my daughter got to see her before she went. With two funerals of people close to me in two years, my five year old has way too good of an understanding of death, mortality and heaven for my liking. But, I wouldn't change her being able to be there and seeing a child's innocence and curiosity about her Great Grandma. I can't explain it, but I'm glad that she was there. Kids get it more than you think. Hopefully your boys will remember her and she will live on in their memories. :) If you're interested, I wrote a little about it here:

Unknown said...

i do remember the last time I saw my mom-mom, i had no clue it was going to be the last though. She's been gone for almost 2 years, it's still very fresh. I arranged a spontaneous post xmas get together with the whole family, it turned out so well and she was thrilled so many of us showed up. I'm glad we had some really great final memories but I'm heart broken there weren't more inbetween then and when she passed away.

your boys have great memories of her and thats what they will remember over the years.

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