Two years ago around this time, one of my worst fears came true.
I had watched Grandma suffer for so long, and I was glad she wasn't suffering anymore, but life without her didn't seem to make sense at all.
From September 18 until September 22nd of that year, life was just a waiting game. She was in a drug-induced coma because apparently that was best and the most peaceful way to go. I don't know.
What I do know is that I've never experienced anything like that. I watched one of my best friends in the world slip from this life to the next. Slowly. Each day that passed we all wondered
"will it be today?"
Obviously I couldn't concentrate on school or work or anything. I did what I had to to get by but I spent all my extra time that week at Hospice, sitting with the woman I had admired so much all my life while she slept on and on and on.
I talked to her because they said she could hear me. But it didn't make sense. None of it did.
But I talked to her anyway.
I told her how much fun I'd had with her over the years.
I told her how much I appreciated everything she'd done for me.
I told her she was gonna see Grandpa and her daughter soon.
I knew that in a matter of hours/days/ whatever, she was gonna see the daughter she'd only known for a day. The one that died as a newborn. I imagined how exciting that would be.
But none of that changed the void in my heart. There was a hole that was forming in my life that would never be filled again, except with memories.
Thankfully I had my family and Grandma's friends and I had Brooke and Zach to go over there with me and sit with me. I will always, always be grateful for that.
On the morning of Thursday, September 22, 2011, I had a strange feeling. I remember sitting at Ledford High School, at my teaching internship, counting down the minutes til I could leave and go to Hospice. My body was sitting in a desk in a ninth grade classroom, but my mind was a billion different places.
When I got to Hospice that morning, I took Grandma's Bible off her nightstand and read her the 23rd Psalm over and over.
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
I poured my heart out and cried and cried and told her how much I was going to miss her.
I told her how cool it was gonna be to see loved ones and friends in Heaven and how awesome it was gonna be to see people we'd read about in the Bible.
I don't even remember what all else I said, but I know I got everything off my chest.
I had to go to class at HPU that afternoon, and as I was leaving class and getting onto the elevator in the Wilson School of Business, I got a phone call from my dad. I had known what it would mean when he called me, so I knew before I even answered what he was going to tell me.
I drove as fast as I could to Hospice, and by the time I got there, Grandma had been out of her earthly body for about 20 minutes.
The cool thing was, though, is that it had been SO cloudy and dreary the entire week, but around 4:20 (when Grandma passed away), the sun came out for the first time that week. It was as if she was being welcomed home for all of us to see.
As sad as I was, I was happy for Grandma and ever so thankful for the years I got to have with her. I'll never forget that week, and especially that day.