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Sorting through a life…
Saturday, February 10th, 2018

This was a really busy day. While family is still gathered, we’ve been going through grandma’s belongings and taking apart the medical setup we had installed for her care. This picture of the 4-year-old sitting on the hospital bed hospice provided pretty much sums up how we all feel.

Just a couple of weeks ago, grandma had a “girl’s night” with my aunt and dd, partaking of a couple of sips of beer—something she loved. She had a great night and bragged the next day to the nurse about her party. That was pretty much the last time we all felt like smiling.

We’re all feeling a little lost and hollow today. Really, the past two years have been about grandma—making sure she had someone to watch out for her and check on her, and then slowly, gradually, taking care of her around the clock. We moved from one phase to the next without any hiccups or hesitation. The last two months were particularly grueling, and we tried not to think about the end, but it was always looming. And she was ready. In her last days, she thanked us, which wasn’t something we expected. She deserved our love and care. She told stories, sometimes all night long, as though she had to get them out before she left. We listened. We held her hand.

I prefer thinking of her like this, with my Grandpa Ole—both so good-looking.

And of her, looking so radiant here…

Likely tomorrow, we’ll finish divvying up her belongings. We all want keepsakes. I asked for a pretty Italian wood-inlay jewelry box. She was given it as a retirement gift after 32 years on the job. She hated it. She barely wore jewelry. Did they even know her? It makes me smile, thinking about her holding that grudge for all those years. I’ll treasure it because I loved all the sides of her personality—even the one that liked to still grouse about that box.

The 4-year-old asked for a T-shirt. She wanted it to sleep in. Said she’d keep it forever. Tonight, she went home and dressed in that shirt that hung to her ankles, put a little blue jean jacket over it, and strutted out in a pair of high heels her cousin gave her for “dress-up”. She asked if she looked pretty. I thought she looked just as dazzling as the woman she wanted to honor.

4 comments to “Sorting through a life…”

  1. Tamye Whitener
    · February 10th, 2018 at 10:28 pm · Link

    What a lovely story. It’s always hard to lose loved ones, but what a blessing that you were able to spend so much time with her. Sounds like she had a full and wondrous life.

    Hugs on having to say goodbye. But remember everytime you think of her, or share stories of her, you are bringing her front and center in your life. She will never be truly gone.

  2. Katherine Anderson
    · February 10th, 2018 at 11:32 pm · Link

    The feelings going through all of us when this happens are never simple. Sadness and grief over losing the person they were and the part of your life they became. But the relief and happiness that they’re no longer in pain and are with the ones they love. The mix is powerful. This story is beautiful and what you did for her towards the end was above and beyond. Take the time to grieve and celebrate her life. Sending lots of hugs

  3. Peggy
    · February 11th, 2018 at 10:25 am · Link

    Such a difficult time for you and your family. I am thinking about you. I enjoyed reading this tribute. Hold your memories close. God bless.

  4. Lorelei J Munoz
    · February 13th, 2018 at 8:40 am · Link

    Wow! What a beautiful story. Our grandmas tell the best stories! I’m so glad you all got to spend such quality time with her. I think that family is so important! Even though we have never met I still hold you all close to my heart. ❤️ I do think we should plan a grand family reunion sometime soon. As we really never know how much time we are allotted here. ????

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