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.